PITTSBURGH - Mid-week news and commentary:
n The Winter Classic is threatened by rain.
The NHL's showcase event is in peril, according to the weather forecasts.
There's a chance for significant rainfall during Saturday's scheduled outdoor game between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field.
That means 60,000 people could be sitting through a baseball-styled rain delay, waiting for the game to be played.
Or they could be sent home if the game is postponed until Sunday.
The third option is the worst: They could fail to play the game on either day, which means it would be rescheduled for a date at the Consol Energy Center.
That would involve shrinking 60,000 tickets down to 17,000, and that's not easy.
It would also mean that people who came into town and invested in hotel accommodations ($265 per night with a two-night minimum has been the going rate) would lose that investment.
Because of all these factors, the NHL will make every effort to play the game.
That may not be the greatest news for the Capitals and Penguins, because rain is the biggest threat to the ice conditions.
There could be very expensive hockey players skating on an uneven surface.
Is there a lesson to be learned from this? Not really.
It's been below freezing for nearly a month in Pittsburgh. The temporary warm-up is coming at the worst time for this game.
Sometimes you need a little luck.
n Winter Classic tickets are drawing premium prices.
If you're going for the event, great. It should be a spectacle.
If you're going to see the hockey game between two rivals, you're likely to be disappointed.
Once people get into the stadium, they'll realize how lousy most of the sight lines are for hockey.
n The Steelers may want to add seats to Heinz Field.
There's no question they could sell the extra seats.
The real issue is parking and traffic.
Put another 4,000 people on the North Side during a game day and it could be chaos. It would be even worse for weeknight games when game traffic runs into the normal rush hour.
There's been a lot of development on the North Side, and that means a lot of parking spaces have disappeared.
There's reluctance to build another high-rise garage that would be empty except for game days.
There's more to consider here than just building some extra seats in the open end zone.
n 2010 comes to an end.
The biggest local sports story of the year?
Without question it's the Ben Roethlisberger incident in Georgia and the subsequent four-game NFL suspension.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.