The NHL announced yesterday that the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be delayed until 8:00 p.m. tonight.
The threat of a possible inch of rain, which would make for near-impossible and/or unsafe ice conditions, forced the delay.
Below is the actual statement from NHL.com:
The National Hockey League announced today the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will change the original 1 p.m. (ET) start time on New Year's Day to 8 p.m. (ET). The decision was based on the latest meteorological reports, which have advised an approaching front of potentially steady rain expected to fall through the afternoon and taper off by early evening, and after consultation with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, national broadcast partners (NBC, CBC, RDS), the Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Hockey League Players' Association, and local officials.
We have been further advised that cooler and drier air conditions are expected in the evening with the passing of the front. The NHL feels that it was important to make this announcement at this time so as to minimize the inconvenience to all parties associated with the event, especially its fans.
All 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic tickets will continue to be honored and all ticket holder agreement language remains unchanged.
Be sure to log on tonight for my live blog coverage of this event, beginning at 7:45 p.m.
If you have any questions regarding tonight's Winter Classic please feel free to email me ahead of time at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to spending an outdoor hockey night with you.