NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) --- A sold-out crowd of 76,126 people filled Notre Dame Stadium on New Year's Day for the NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. The pre-game excitement kicked off in the parking lots with dozens of tailgates, which included grilled crab legs and bare-legged people, like James Duggan, of Billerica, Mass.
"You feel warmer when you think warmer," quipped Duggan, who surprised his son with a trip to the game.
"I think he's absolutely crazy and insane," remarked his son, Sean Duggan.
Kids played street hockey while adults celebrated with standard tailgate beverages. Some Boston fans used the Classic as an excuse to visit the Hoosier State.
"This is an amazing experience, and we've been Bruins fans for years and years, and we just wanted to be here. We haven't been to Indiana, so we came here to see everything," explained Brenda Peacock, of Billerica, Mass.
Fans remarked about the stadium excitement.
"It was intense," said Megan Evenhouse, of Mokena, Ill.
"It's a great time, great that both teams played well, great that the Bruins won," said Chris Wyman, of Spencer, Mass.
The Bruins beat the Blackhawks, 4-2.