Tailgating was all systems go under the sun and in the frigid air by the lake hours before the action began inside.

Which, technically, also was outside.

A thin layer of snow covered the grass and square gray slats set down on the Soldier Field surface Sunday, with the exception of the routes cleared to a rink dropped in the middle of a football field. For the first time since the building opened 89 years earlier, it hosted the sport of hockey, a landmark moment indeed.