Details were few and far between at a news conference today at Heinz Field designed to promote the 2010 NHL Winter Classic, which will be played Jan. 1 between the Penguins and Washington Capitals on a rink centered on the 50-yard line of the Steelers field.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman joined members of the Penguins, Capitals and Steelers in talking about what will be the fourth such outdoor game.
"If you love rivalries, Capitals-Penguins may be our best," Bettman said. "If you enjoy the sight of team captains providing passionate leadership and game-breaking skill, I don't think you can do much better than Sidney Crosby [of the Penguins] and Alexander Ovechkin [of the Capitals]. And if you can't get enough star power, both of these teams are loaded with it.
"And if you love the fact --- as we do --- that Jan. 1 is the day we welcome the new year with a great outdoor event, that celebrates the roots of our game no matter which team you root for no matter which rivalry you prefer, then this 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic here at Heinz Field will be a must-see moment."
Although details of ticket sales are pending and might be weeks away, Bettman said the Winter Classic "has become an extremely hot ticket, perhaps one of the hottest tickets in all of sports. This game always sells out, and the demand for tickets actually reaches into the hundreds of thousands."
He and others alluded to ancillary events, although most of them won't be finalized until closer to the game because there is a short window to build the rink following the Steelers' final home game Dec. 23, and the Steelers could have a home playoff game after the Winter Classic.
Bettman said there will be a free spectator plaza, and mayor Luke Ravenstahl said,"This is going to be a week-long event for the city of Pittsburgh and the people of this region."
The logo for the game was unveiled. It incorporates a bridge reminiscent of the spans across the Allegheny River. Logos for the teams also were presented. For the Penguins, there is a winter scarf around the neck of a skating penguin.
Standing in the outline of what will be the rink, Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis liked the view.
"Just looking around, you see the top seats and you know it's going to be great," said Dupuis, who like many of the Penguins has been to Steelers games at the stadium.
"If you look around, I don't think there's going to be a bad ticket in the place."