Seattle, a Winter Classic Wonderland: A Fan’s View of the Historic Event
Seattle a (Winter Classic) Wonderland: A Fan's View of the Historic Event
During the Winter Classic, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest were the center of the hockey world this past weekend. On New Year's Day, The National Hockey League (NHL) played its annual outdoor game at T-Mobile Park, the home of the Seattle Mariners. The marquee matchup featured the Seattle Kraken and the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Kraken would win 3-0, and the event is being heralded as a huge success.
Edward Coe, a Kraken fan and season ticket holder, is confident that the Winter Classic in Seattle can go towards establishing the city as an emerging hockey town. "It was just a great day to be a Seattle Sports Fan! If there were any doubters, hopefully, they tuned in - Seattle is a hockey town, and they love their Kraken!"
Hockey at a Baseball Park
The NHL transformed the home of the Seattle Mariners into a world-class hockey venue. The rink was placed in the infield, about the second base. The players entered via the baseball dugouts. The league did a great job of giving the game a Northwest feel. All around the rink were odes to the Northwest and its maritime history. Players walked on "docks" to the ice; depth charts were made to look like water under the ice. A shipwreck in center field doubled as a stage, and several other boat scenes in the outfield broke up the artificial snow covering.
The larger venue of T-Mobile presented some challenges for seating and viewing. Some seats were at odd angles, too far away or too low, so you could not see over the boards. However, fans enjoyed the atmosphere and were able to catch all the big plays on the giant jumbo tron.
The Stars were Out in Seattle
The game attracted many local and national stars and celebrities. "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky worked the broadcast from the pre-, post, and intermission show set in left field along with Paul Bissonnette of "Spitting Chicklets" podcast and NHL fame. The NHL's commissioner was also on hand to take in the action and promote the league. The event also honored some local sports icons during the second intermission. Edgar Martinez, Marshawn Lynch, and Matt Hasselbeck were among the honorees.
Hip-hop artist Sir Mix Alot and the legendary band Heart were also on hand to perform for fans.
Fan Feedback from Seattle's Winter Classic
The game was a massive hit for hockey fans in the Northwest and from all over Canada and North America, and there is still a buzz about it.
"When I heard the Winter Classic was going to be Seattle, I knew it was going to be an event that I couldn't miss," said Brandon Enyeart, who traveled from Bellingham, Washington, to the event. "As a lifelong hockey fan and Seattle sports fan, being able to witness our Seattle Kraken play the reigning Stanley Cup champions outside in the house that Ken Griffey Jr. built [T-Mobile Park] was something out of an Emerald City pipe dream, he continued. Enyeart also added that witnessing history being made while 47,000 people chanted "JOEY" [For Kraken goalie Joey Daccord] is a Seattle sports moment he will never forget. Read about Daccord's performance in the game on our website.
Financial Impact of the Winter Classic in Seattle
Officials with the Seattle Kraken are saying that the game brought millions of dollars to the City, especially in the downtown area. Fans from the Winter Classic could be all over downtown, staying at hotels, shopping, or patronizing many area bars and restaurants.
Seattle Winter Classic - Kraken vs Golden Knights