College football, meet professional hockey.
The NHL has unveiled a rendering of the college football gameday vibe for the league’s 2023 Stadium Series game between the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes. Taking place on Feb. 18 at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh (the home stadium for NC State’s football team), the game will be littered with nods to college football, the history of the Hurricanes, and more.
“The outdoor hockey game will share the field with NC State students, the university's marching band, musical performances, and special appearances by NC State legends and members of the Hurricanes' 2006 Stanley Cup championship team,” read a league press release.
“In a first for an NHL outdoor game, NC State students in attendance will enjoy the entirety of the game from the field,” the release continued. “In a fan zone on the south side of the stadium, the students and ESPN's broadcast set will have front row seats to the Hurricanes-Capitals matchup and a first intermission musical performance on the NHL stage.”
NC State’s marching band, the Power Sound of the South, will be providing musical undertones throughout the game, including a special performance during the second intermission. To hammer home the college football atmosphere, “Ripken The Bat Dog, of NC State football and Durham Bulls fame, will lead the ceremonial puck drop.”
Fans attending the game in Raleigh can also enjoy a special pregame fan festival at the parking lot of PNC Arena throughout the day leading up to the 8 p.m. puck drop. A sold-out crowd of 57,000+ fans is expected to attend the matchup, close to 1,000 of whom will be NC State students.
For those Caps fans who are not able to trek down to North Carolina to watch the game in person, NBC Sports Washington will deliver expanded coverage of the event starting the evening prior.
Though the game itself will air on ABC, NBCSW's coverage will begin on Friday, Feb. 17 with 'Friday Night Live at the Stadium Series' from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The show will provide an all-access preview of the Capitals' matchup against the Hurricanes and feature interviews with coaches, players and their families.
Immediately after Friday Night Live, NBCSW will air the premiere of 'The Gr8 Chase: Passing Mr. Hockey,' a one-hour special looking at Alex Ovechkin’s chase and ultimate passing of Gordie Howe on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Capitals Pregame Live will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday and will include a full hour-long preview of the game and a look back at previous outdoor events in which the Capitals have participated.