It was 83 degrees in Denver on October 9th. By the morning of October 10th, Denver’s first snowfall of the season had ripped through town while thermometers in the Mile High City read 19 degrees, a record-breaking temperature drop in just a matter of hours. And it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Why? Well Colorado’s winter welcomed NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to town on Oct. 10, as he visited Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, home of this season’s Stadium Series, to host the event’s preview press conference live on NHL Network.
It really couldn’t have been more ideal weather, given the nature of what the Stadium Series event is supposed to represent. Along with the NHL’s Winter Classic, the outdoor game was started as an homage to hockey’s history — a game that has been historically played in the frigid outdoors on the frozen ponds of the north.
It just wouldn’t have felt the same if the press conference was held in 83-degree weather. It was supposed to be snowy and cold and Colorado certainly did not disappoint. The state’s wintry weather set the stage for the 2020 Stadium Series and all but rolled out the red carpet for February’s outdoor prime-time event.
As perfect as the weather was, getting to the press event was less than ideal, however.
As I white-knuckled my way down the white, snow-blanketed byway of Interstate 25 South, I, along with the other daring drivers on the road, navigated the hiemal highway, maneuvering around countless collisions, spun-around vehicles blocking lanes of traffic and uncountable car pileups. A typical hour-and-some-change jaunt on I-25 South from my house in Denver to the neighboring Colorado Springs turned into a three-plus hour crawl to Falcon Stadium. Thankfully I left early.