After years of speculation, the Sabres and Amerks finally announced last March that an outdoor hockey game would finally be held in Rochester at Frontier Field.
In August, they announced that the date would be December 13th, 2013, and that the opponent would be the Lake Erie Monsters.
Finally, the day is here!
Here’s a primer for everything you need to know about tonight’s festivities.
I’ve tried to summarize all of the facts about tonight’s game into one place. If I’ve missed something important, please let me know!
– Parking in Kodak Lots C & D opens at 4:30pm, with the gates opening at 5pm, and the game starting at 7pm.
– Parking will be $10 per car in these lots.
– Tailgating will not be allowed (although it will be interesting to see how it is enforced, or how stringently it is enforced)
– Pre-game entertainment will be provided in the Labatt Blue Zone tent by Strictly Hip. The tent is heated, and should hold several hundred people. The band will also play during the intermissions. I’m assuming the tent will stay open for folks who need to warm up throughout the night.
– The National Anthem will be sung by Baylee Morrison.
– Permanent ballpark restrooms will NOT be available because of the exposed plumbing. Porta-potties have been brought in. If you have to sit down to pee, do it at home and don’t drink at the game!
– The temperature will hover around 15 degrees for the entire game, with winds less than 10mph the entire night. The stadium should offer fair protection from the wind. There is a 40% chance of light snow. (And lets be honest… who DOESN’T want a little bit of snow for this event?)
– Organist Fred Costello will be working his first Amerks game since being let go by the team back in 2009. Old time Amerks fans are sure to appreciate his return!
– Tickets for the game are sold out. Standing Room Only tickets for $20 do remain.
– The game will be broadcast on TW SportsChannel in Western NY (Time Warner Cable subscribers only), Sportstime Ohio locally in Northeast Ohio and DirecTV/DishNetwork/AT&T UVerse (if you subscribe to their sports packages). The AHL minor league game will be broadcast live across Canada SportsNet. It can also be seen online on AHLLive, and as a replay Saturday afternoon on the NHL Network (in the US only).
As for the game itself… the Amerks lead the season series 2 games to 1, with all three games being played in Rochester so far. The two teams are locked in a 4-way battle for the Western Division lead, with only 2 points separating first place from fourth. Every game counts in this division. Don’t expect tonight to be a friendly exhibition game.
Players to watch for the Amerks include Phil Varone, who has continued his excellent play even after the promotion of linemate Luke Adam to Buffalo, and Jamie Tardif, who has 6 goals and 3 assists in his last 6 games. The Monsters are currently stung by a series of injuries to some of their top players, but are bringing a lot of muscle to the game tonight.
#FrozenFrontierDay has finally arrived in Rochester. The weather should be perfect, so lets enjoy it!