The Weather Hits as Ann Arbor Welcomes The Winter Classic

Jan 1, 2014

More than 105,000 tickets were pre-sold to this afternoon's outdoor hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.  It's billed as the Winter Classic. Ironically, winter weather may keep a number of fans at home today.

Winter Classic
Credit Courtesy photo

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 7 AM Thursday (tomorrow) morning.  Up to two inches of snowfall is expected through the day. Snowfall tonight could add another 2-3 inches accumulation and we may see another half-inch tomorrow morning.

Early morning road conditions are reported hazardous. With a light snow falling, there have already been a series of accidents. Traffic into and around Ann Arbor is expected to be heavier than on a football Saturday. That's because when the Wolverines play, some 20,000 students walk to the stadium from campus and near-campus housing. Today, most will be traveling to town for the special event.

SEE ALSO: Parking Plans for Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium

To help address the parking challenge, Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority will have parking structures operating like on a University of Michigan football game day.  DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay says they have been taking advance reservations, but drive-up parking will be available.  

Pollay says they the DDA has maps for visitors letting them know the restaurants and businesses that will be open today, and to help them get back to the right garage.  The National Hockey League will operate shuttle buses from many area hotels and from Briarwood Mall. Parking is  also be available at Pioneer High School.

SEE ALSO: Winter Classic Event Day Info

— David Fair is the News Director, and host of Morning Edition on 89.1 WEMU. Follow him on twitter @DavidFairWEMU.  You  can contact him at 734.487.3363,  or email him dfair@emich.edu.