The annual NHL Winter Classic is coming up on New Year’s Day, with the Kraken facing the Golden Knights at the Seattle Mariners’ baseball stadium. Yesterday the NHL released a rendering of the full site design for the event (shown above).
As you can see, the ballpark’s batter’s eye will feature an image of a kraken’s eye. The rest of the site design features a nautical theme, described in the press release like so:
[The rink will sit] atop oceanic topographic maps that convey the region’s waters of Puget Sound. Docks and piers surround the rink, providing entry points onto the field for the Kraken and Golden Knights. Exposed areas of illustrated water within the snow and ice landscape feature a real auxiliary ice rink and boats, including a shipwrecked vessel capsized by the mysterious sea creature [the kraken], that will serve as the main entertainment stage. The iceberg floating behind the team benches features an NHL compass representing the Pacific Northwest.
The NHL on TNT set will broadcast from a boathouse erected in left field, overlooking the auxiliary rink that will host local youth hockey players throughout the game.
That all seems nice enough. But I have to say, I always find it a bit weird that they have local youth teams playing during the Winter Classic. Like, on the one hand it’s very cool that they incorporate local kids into the event. But if you’re a young hockey fan/player in Seattle, wouldn’t you want to see the Kraken playing in the Winter Classic, instead of missing the game because you’re participating in your own game?
Also of note: “The second intermission will feature ‘A Tribute to Seattle Sports,’ with appearances by Jay Buhner, Matt Hasselbeck, Walter Jones, Steve Largent, Marshawn Lynch, Edgar Martinez, Jack Sikma, Isaiah Thomas, Lenny Wilkens, and Dan Wilson.” It’s not yet clear, at least to me, what that will entail, but there’s definitely some fun uni potential there.
(My thanks to Phil for bringing this news to my attention.)