When the NHL first announced the outdoor hockey game at Carter-Finley Stadium, I was excited about it, but also curious about the extent to which the league would involve NC State. Would NC State just be along for the ride, meriting little more than some broadcast mentions here and there as the game’s host, or would the NHL actively involve the university in the event?
It’s the latter, and that’s awesome. For instance, NC State’s marching band will feature prominently and should look great on television in their own section behind one endzone. The NHL released a rendering of the seating on Monday:
The @NHL reveals rendering and game day entertainment plans for 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL #StadiumSeries in Raleigh.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 13, 2023
More on how the sold-out event will embrace the college game day and tailgating atmosphere: https://t.co/AESCHswRnS pic.twitter.com/5Vr4fqT5J5
The opposite endzone will belong to NC State students. The NHL didn’t do anything like this when Michigan and Notre Dame hosted games. Event organizers have even figured out a way to involve Ripken The Bat Dog (a.k.a. Ripken The Kickoff Tee Retriever on fall Saturdays.)
From an NC State perspective, I’d say they’re kinda nailing this whole deal. This is gonna be a lot of fun.