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NHL Winter Classic: Rink Building At Heinz Field Will Begin Sunday

The stage has been set for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. HBO's "24/7" series premiered last week and the two teams will meet for the first time Thursday at Verizon Center. But back in Pittsburgh, the stage will start being set for the outdoor spectacle.

Via Associated Press, the process to set up the rink will start Thursday within an hour after the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field. The rink will be put down shortly after the game, then a refrigeration trailer will brought in Friday. The ice making will begin late Christmas Day.

The rink will be complete by December 28, three days before the Caps and Penguins will practice at Heinz Field. The alumni game between the teams' former greats will also take place on December 31.

Get your fuzzy hats, down jackets and hot chocolate ready.