Friday, December 14, 2012

Hockey Setup at TD Ameritrade Park Underway

With the nice weather currently underway, crews at TD Ameritrade Park have begun preparing the field for the hockey rink for February 9th's "Battles on Ice" outdoor game between UNO and North Dakota.  The actual rink won't be set up until after the figure skating championships end on January 27th.  But field preparation is already underway as you can see.

It looks like center ice will be approximately around second base, and I still believe the best seats for the money will be the $30 seats in the 300 sections, which will be looking down the ice.

Last time I checked, there seemed to be about 5k-7k tickets sold by my unofficial tracking of the Ticketmaster site; that data is rather dated, though.  I've since heard that there are numerous busloads of North Dakota fans planning to head down I-29 for the game.  Will this sell out?  I thought it would originally, and still think it might.  Even if it doesn't, it should be a really cool event.

That is, depending on the weather...and that's too far off to predict.  That being said, a few years ago, I came across Kansas City meteorologist Gary Lezak while planning a Christmastime trip to KC and familiarized myself with his "LRC" theory.  For that weekend, the weather forecasts were looking rather iffy and all over the board, and Lezak nailed the forecast.  (One station was predicting freezing rain one night, when in fact, it ended up being about 60 that evening, which made it a perfect evening to stroll the Plaza.)

Since then, I've always kept an eye on his forecasts.  This year, his theory says that weather patterns are cycling at approximately 51 days, so the weather map you see later next week will correspond to the weather we'll see for the outdoor game. Right now, the Omaha forecasts look fine (clear to partly cloudy with temperatures near 40), and Lezak's models point to a possible repeat of the pattern that led to Hurricane Sandy hitting the east coast.  (This doesn't mean a storm like Sandy is going to hit New York and New Jersey again; just that another winter storm could hit the east coast this week...and if so, around February 9th.)

So if that means relatively clear skies and moderate temperatures, it could be a fine day for hockey outdoors. That's just a prognostication at this point; we'll have to wait until the week of the game to get a more accurate prediction.

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