Thursday, February 16, 2012
First came those annual NHL games on New Year's Day. Then came the Big Chill at the Big House. The outdoor hockey craze continues its roll this weekend when the Red Wings take to the outdoor rink at Clark Park for a one-hour, open-to-the-public practice.
Crews were hard at work Thursday morning setting up bleachers. They tell me a temporary press box will be constructed on the opposite side of the rink. In all, there will be enough seating to accommodate about 1,500 to 2,000 people, which means if you want to get a good look at Pavel and the boys, you'd better get down there early. Like...yesterday.
The event is being held to benefit various Detroit-area charities. Admission is free, but upon entry fans will be asked to give canned goods (to benefit Gleaners Food Bank of Southwest Michigan), gently used hockey equipment (to benefit Clark Park and the Detroit Hockey Association) or a $2 donation (to benefit the Clark Park Coalition). The gates will open early, hours ahead of the Wings' scheduled practice time of 11 a.m. to noon.
The rink at Clark Park, incidentally, is open all winter, offering open skating and drop-in hockey daily. On March 3, the park will be hopping again during the 20th anniversary Clark Park Winter Carnival. You can get all the details at www.clarkparkdetroit.com.
(Thanks to avid Times reader Squish for feeding us the tip about the Wings practice.)