NHL Winter Classic: So far, so good — but bundle up

(KSTP) – With so many NHL games canceled over the past 10 days due to COVID-19, there has been concern about whether the Winter Classic scheduled for New Year’s Day at Target Field would go on as scheduled.

For now, the game will go on as scheduled after the NHL and players union agreed to a plan to call up other players if a team has a COVID-19 outbreak. Attention is now shifting to the first arctic blast of air just in time for the game between the Wild and the Blues.

"Definitely a breezier forecast for us as we head into Saturday," 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS meteorologist Wren Clair said. "And again the air temp will be right around zero for highs."

Before anyone overreacts, Clair reminds us the game-time weather will be typical for early January.

"We typically have our coldest weather of the year into January," she said. "So this is typical, way more so than what we’ve seen so far this winter. We’re turning the page into the Minnesota winter."

The NHL is requiring media and event staff to be fully vaccinated and to wear masks. There is no vaccine mandate for spectators, but masks are encouraged.

Considering how cold it will be, many spectators might choose to wear masks just to stay warm.

Game time is 6 p.m. Saturday with gates opening at 4 p.m. Prior to the game, there will be a pregame celebration inside Target Center next door to Target Field.