Happy new year everyone! Welcome to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.
Today, the National Hockey League heads to Ann Arbor's Michigan Stadium, the largest sporting venue in North America. Over 107,000 fans will converge at one venue in southeastern Michigan to take part in what will be a record breaking crowd for a hockey game.
This morning's game preview spills the beans on the expected lineups and today's stats. J.J. and Jeff are standing in a parking lot about five minutes away, waiting for Tyler. As usual, Tyler is fashionably later.
The NHL is hosting a fan festival at the Spectator Plaza, just outside of the Crisler Center. Here, fans will find a boatload of activities, including live music, hockey shot accuracy, and all types of food.
The fan festival is serving as a way to not only get the fans to the game early, but as a mean for getting the fans involved and keep them involved. The food ranges from smoked barbecue shacks to panini stands with Nail Yakupov's face on them.
It's pretty even so far in terms of Toronto-Detroit fan distribution, even though it seems as if every citizen of Canada is here. There will be a gameday updates post as well as all sorts of extra content throughout the day.
Follow me (@dmmm14) on Twitter for updates from the press box, and keep in tune as always to the GameThread twitter feed (@WIIMGame), the SB Nation GameThread, as well as our main Twitter feed for all sorts of updates and news.
This is part of a series of posts leading up to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® . Feel free to check out the H2H3 pledge drive for the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation. You can also text KIDS to 85944 to donate $5 to make an easy donation (full details here).