The Frozen One

ESPN.com's coverage of the Heritage Classic, the first outdoor game in NHL history.

Updated: November 23, 2003, 2:00 AM ET

HERITAGE CLASSIC
FACTS & FIGURES
WEATHER
From Environment Canada: Saturday ... Sunny, clear. High: 3°. Low: 0°. (High: minus 16°C. Low: minus 18°C).
PREPARATION
• Conversion: 12 days
• Rink: standard 200x85 feet
• Approximately 1,000 sheets of 3/4-inch plywood
• 35 truckloads of sand, each eight cubic yards
• 205 tons of refrigerated brine piped through 800 feet of pipe
• 70 rink boards and 120 plexiglass sections
• 1,000 anchors will secure the boards to the turf
• Two ice resurfacers will be used between periods
• A crew of 100 will work approximately 150 hours to install the ice.
• 2-inch thick ice surface will be kept between -4 C and -8 C. Most NHL arena surfaces are 1-inch thick and kept between -4 C and -6 C.
• More than 52,500 expected fans will set an NHL single-game attendance record. Current record: 28,183 (April 23, 1996, Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia at the Thunder Dome).

Fans gladly bore the frigid air to see The Great One outdoors.

Frigid temperatures aside, the Heritage Classic was a memorable success, writes ESPN.com's Jim Kelley. Fans braved the cold to watch Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers alumni shut out their Canadiens counterparts before the current Habs exacted revenge 4-3.

• Kelley: Gretzky's 'special' weekend | Burnside: Thrill in the chill
• Kelley: Capturing the spirit | Lessons from Cold War
• Messier cleared to play | First practice snowed out
• Johnson: NHLers ready for the elements

INSTANT CLASSIC
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29
5 p.m. ET: Heritage Classic alumni game
6 p.m. ET: Heritage Classic NHL game
COLD WAR II
InsideCollegeHockey.com points out the Heritage Classic isn't quite the same as the Cold War, contested between Michigan State and Michigan in 2001 at Spartan Stadium. Here are 10 of those differences, Found on a Cocktail Napkin.