UPDATE 3:44 P.M.: The Winter Classic Alumni Game has indeed been pushed back two hours to 3 p.m. ET. TV coverage remains essentially the same -- there's a live telecast on both CSN and Versus. Parking lots now open at 9 a.m., gates open at 1 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA -- Alright, so there's a bit of a problem. It's a gorgeous day today, the ice is down, there's a bunch of activity in and around Citizens Bank Park. But it's almost too nice outside. If it was cloudy, we'd have no issues, but the sun is out, and that's wreaking havoc on the schedule of events here at the Winter Classic.
The temperatures really don't matter all that much. It's unseasonably warm, but it's not necessarily hot out or anything either. With 50 degree temperatures, the ice will hold up just fine. The problem is that the sun is beating down directly on the ice for several hours in the late morning to mid-afternoon, and that's obviously very bad for keeping up the quality of the surface.
The media skate scheduled for 12 p.m. today was pushed back several hours due to the issues, and if the weather is the same on Saturday at this time, there's a chance the Alumni Game could be pushed back as well. An NHL spokesman here said that there have been preliminary discussions about that possibility, although there is nothing to announce just yet.
We'd expect any sort of announcement to come Friday night, if some sort of time change will happen. Worth keeping an eye on, at the very least.