By Kirsten Mitchell

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In the state of Minnesota, bitter cold comes with the territory. But even the temperatures on New Year’s Day look to shatter NHL Winter Classic records.

“We really do feel we will be part of the coldest NHL game ever and certainly one of the coldest days ever in professional sports,” said NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer.

The previous outdoor NHL record was set in 2003 when it was zero degrees. Saturday’s temperatures dropped well below zero. To try to keep the fans, workers and players safe, organizers added more medical teams, heated the player’s benches and penalty boxes, and even the ice itself to keep it in good shape.

“The stadium is incredible in terms of having areas to get warm so we are pretty confident people will leave and feel warm because it’s going to be a great day,” Mayer said.

Credit: CBS

The extreme cold could cause frostbite in less than 30 minutes, experts say.

“People need to be aware when they start getting symptoms. You start feeling your hands and feet cold and then when they are numb and tingly and you can’t feel them anymore, that’s when you need to get yourself in a safer situation,” said St. Cloud Hospital Dr. Scott Cline.

MORE: Winter Classic Organizers Bracing For Subzero Temps, What Could Well Be The Coldest NHL Game Of All Time

While toasty food or beverages could keep people warn, Dr. Cline said alcohol could make matters worse.

“You don’t realize you’re in trouble and get yourself in situations where you don’t seek shelter appropriately,” Dr. Cline said.

Kirsten Mitchell