SEATTLE KRAKEN

NHL Winter Classic: See how T-Mobile Park looks, plus what you need to know

Dec 31, 2023, 2:38 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm

T-Mobile Park was built for baseball, but nearly a quarter-century after opening its doors, it sure looks like a cool spot for hockey as the Seattle Kraken make it their temporary home for the NHL Winter Classic.

Friday: Justin Schultz scores in OT to give Kraken 2-1 win over Flyers

The Kraken host the defending Stanley Cup-champion Vegas Golden Knights at noon Monday in the NHL’s annual New Year’s Day tradition, and the two teams were able to take to the ice for the first time Sunday for practices.

It also allowed for local photographers to document how the place looks, which you can judge for yourself in the photo gallery at the top of this post. You can also find more photos plus videos with some shots of the stadium below.

But first, here are some details about the Winter Classic: how to watch if you won’t be at the park in person, what the weather is expected to be (which is very important for this kind of game), and the game’s history.

How to watch Seattle Kraken in NHL Winter Classic

The game will air live on TNT. Faceoff is set for noon. Prior to the game, TNT will air the final episode of its four-part documentary series “Road to the NHL Winter Classic” featuring the Seattle Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights at 10:30 a.m., with an hour-long pregame show to follow.

In addition to TNT on cable, satellite and streaming providers, the game can be found on the Max streaming service as part of its B/R Sports channel, which is currently included at no extra charge (it will become a paid add-on in February).

Weather

Always a concern for the NHL Winter Classic are the conditions, as rain can turn the ice into a soupy mess quickly, as can warm temperatures (see the 2021 game at Lake Tahoe in Nevada between Colorado and Vegas). So how does Monday look?

Per Weather.com, Seattle will see a high of 46 degrees on Monday with a low of 35, with just an 11% chance of rain. Pretty ideal for hockey, wouldn’t you say?

Should rain start, as it is wont to do in the Puget Sound, the good news is that T-Mobile Park has the benefit of a retractable roof that still preserves an open-air atmosphere. But here’s hoping that doesn’t need to come into play.

More: NHL Winter Classic in Seattle has insurance policy with retractable roof

What is the NHL Winter Classic?

The NHL Winter Classic began in 2008, taking the usually indoor game back to its outdoor roots. Every season since (except for one during a lockout and another during the COVID-19 pandemic), a different NHL team has been chosen to host a game on New Year’s Day in either a football or baseball stadium, allowing for a much bigger crowd than your typical contest in an arena.

Famous stadiums that have hosted the game before include Boston’s Fenway Park, Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and the massive Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., which squeezed an NHL-record 105,491 fans in for a 2014 game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Both teams always wear special throwback-inspired uniforms for the occasion to add to the experience.

In addition to Winter Classic, which is always held in the United States, the NHL uses the outdoor game concept for the Heritage Classic, which has been held at venues in Canada seven times since 2003 (including six since 2011). There have also been games under a Stadium Series moniker and other names.

The 2024 NHL Winter Classic at T-Mobile Park in Seattle will be the 39th outdoor game in the league’s history, and one of four this season.

How NHL Winter Classic looks at T-Mobile Park in Seattle

See NHL Winter Classic uniforms for Seattle Kraken, Vegas Golden Knights

 

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