SUN Hockey Pool

Drop the puck!

DAVE DORMER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

CALGARY - The rink is ready, the finishing touches have been put on Spectator Plaza and fans are geared up for Sunday’s NHL Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium.

“Anybody who arrives here, it’s a bit of a mind-blower when you come into the bowl of the stadium if you’re used to being at a football game,” said stadium manager John Haverstock.

The biggest hurdle for organizers has been the weather, said Haverstock, with the freezing temperatures taking a toll on crews building the rink.

“Going into this from a stadium operations standpoint, weather was always the big risk and it continues to be the challenge because it is so cold,” said Haverstock.

“I know it’s still winter but it usually isn’t 25-below.”

Forecasters are calling for warmer air to arrive in time for Sunday’s 4 p.m. puck drop between the Flames and Montreal Canadiens, and Haverstock said he’s been paying close attention.

“It looks like we’re going to be OK but the problem with the brutal cold over the last three or four days is, it’s been an intense amount of setup happening and it’s hard on human beings.”

The forecast high for Sunday is -8C, though Environment Canada says that’ll drop throughout the game.

Though touted as a sell-out, tickets can still be had — with many buyers holding out for a price below face value.

A check of Ticketmaster on Saturday afternoon showed some ducats were still available in the east and west stands, ranging from $111 to $269, while a spot in the north/auxiliary section will cost you $216.

The asking price on online classified sites ranges from $117 all the way up to $500.

Demand is high, said showtimetickets.com CEO Mario Livich, but not enough to cause bidding wars and skyrocketing prices.

“The sweet spot where tickets are moving is in the $100 to $150 range,” he said.

“Anything above that has been a very, very tough sell.

“There’s a lot of demand for discounted tickets.”

The game will be the first outdoor NHL tilt broadcast in 3D — a fact that only adds to the mystique of the event, said Flames President Ken King.

“It’s fantastic — it’s unique for Calgary and it’s another part of a very romantic story,” said King.

Doors at McMahon Stadium open at 2 p.m. and the game starts at 4 p.m.

dave.dormer@sunmedia.ca


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