The Frozen Diamond Faceoff at Progressive Field
The Ohio State/Michigan rivalry is a long and storied one. Thoughts of the Buckeyes vs. the Wolverines usually bring to mind hard fought battles on the gridiron. But this Sunday at 5:05 p.m., in Cleveland, just a few blocks from the shores of Lake Erie, these two collegiate powerhouses will take part in a faceoff of another sort. They’ll play in the first outdoor college hockey game in the state of Ohio, the Frozen Diamond Faceoff!
These outdoor hockey games have become quite popular lately. It has become an annual New Year’s Day tradition for NHL fans, and collegiate games, including the Big Chill at the Big House in Ann Arbor and the Frozen Tundra Classic at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, have brought some of that fighting college spirit to the ice. But on Sunday, when one of the longest and most heated rivalries in college sports takes to the ice, hockey fans are in for a real treat!
The venue alone makes this game something special. The highly anticipated game takes place in what is normally the home of the Cleveland Indians. But Progressive Field has been transformed into a winter wonderland called Snow Days, and fans will be amazed at the change. Features include an eight-lane snow tubing hill, an ice skating track around the outfield (the first non-symmetrical ice skating path in the U.S.), a small rink for beginning skaters and The Frozen Diamond – a regulation-sized ice skating rink covering home plate and stretching along the first base line. It looks awesome!
On Saturday, Jan. 14, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., fans can attend the Frozen Diamond Faceoff Fan Fest. General admission for this exciting day of hockey-related fun is only $5, and gives attendees access to meet-and-greets with Ohio State and Michigan players, select Lake Erie Monsters players, Sully the Mascot, and the Lake Erie Monsters Street Team. Fans can also watch the Ohio State and Michigan Women’s Club Ice Hockey game (11 a.m.) and Michigan (3 – 4 p.m.) and Ohio State (4:30 – 5:30 p.m.) Men’s Ice Hockey teams practice. (Note that all times are subject to change.)
Of course, there are plenty of great things to do in Cleveland to make this a weekend to remember. You’ll find an amazing variety of things to keep you busy between visits to Progressive Field.
For me, no trip to Cleveland is complete without a trip to the world’s only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. I’ve taken friends and family of all ages — from die hard Elvis fans to Lady Gaga devotees — and it is always a big hit (no pun intended). The Great Lakes Science Center/NASA Glenn Visitor Center is sure to keep kids of all ages entertained. And, of course, you’ll find incredible food including celebrity chef Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro (I love this place!) located on downtown Cleveland’s happening East 4th Street and the amazing Great Lakes Brewing Company in nearby Ohio City with possibly the best Mac and Cheese in Cleveland!
Are you planning to attend the Frozen Diamond Faceoff? Look for me there. I’m excited to see one of the most historic events in Ohio hockey!