Fans Were Met, Toys Were Sold, No One Froze to Death ...
Monday, December 01, 2003

McFarlane Toys swept into Edmonton for the Coca-Cola Heritage Hockey Classic Nov. 22-26. It was the first time the company had brought a full retail booth to a Canadian show. People waited outside for hours to get their opportunity to purchase some hard-to-find NFL and NHL sports merchandise. contest winner Steve Jessome stopped by the both and claimed his prize: two tickets to the outdoor games. The outdoor stadium seats 56,000 people and the Oilers fielded more than 900,000 ticket requests.

Fans poured into Edmonton to watch the Oilers and Canadiens battle in two outdoor games; one between their retired legends and another between their current clubs -- a licensed and approved regular season game that counted in the league standings. Wayne Gretzky returned to the town he made famous and participated in the Legends Game, marking the first time "The Great One" had played in an organized hockey game since his retirement in 1999.

McFarlane Toys would like to thank the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton City Hall and all the fans who came by our booth for their hospitality. We look forward to returning to Canada in the future.

And now, a special on-the-scene report:

"Terry Fitzgerald from Todd McFarlane Entertainment Forgoes Sanity, Watches Hockey at -30C"

TME president Terry Fitzgerald made the trek up to the frozen tundra of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for the world's first (and 99% certain last) outdoor hockey game. He left 85F weather in Phoenix for -30C weather in Edmonton. The game took place at the Commonwealth Stadium, where the CFL Edmonton Eskimos just won the Grey Cup, Canada's equivalent to the Super Bowl. The first game, an Alumni Game between Edmonton Oiler alumni, (Gretzky, Messier and Kurri, etc.) and Montreal Oiler alumni, (Lafleur, Robinson, etc.), featured temperatures in the -21C realm. As the sun began to set, it dropped another ten degrees and the league was worried the ice and the plexiglass walls were going to be too brittle to play, but the game went on. Check out all of the frozen people in the stands. Floor length fur coats and ski suits covered by hockey jerseys were a common sight that day. As was frozen beer! Notice how all of the beer glasses are tilted and yet not one ounce was spilled. Terry and his friend John Ingham can be seen in the last picture "enjoying" the experience.