You don’t have plans for February 20, 2021, right? Now you do. Go ahead and put it on your calendar: the Carolina Hurricanes’ pursuit of an outdoor game, at long last, has reached its goal.
The team and the NHL announced on Saturday night that the Hurricanes will host an NHL Stadium Series game at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday, February 20, 2021. It’s the culmination of a process that began almost a decade ago, and accelerated significantly in the two years since Tom Dundon became majority owner of the club. Appropriately, the game will be played just weeks after the ten-year anniversary of the 2011 All-Star Game, a weekend celebration that proved to everyone that not only is the Triangle a solid, secure hockey market, but it knows how to throw a heck of a party.
“We’re proud to be the first NHL market in the Southeast to host an outdoor game,” Dundon said in a statement. “We’re going to do everything we can to make as many seats available as possible, because we know how high demand will be for this game, and the epic tailgate that will accompany it.”
The game will be played at the home field of N.C. State football, next door to PNC Arena, which has a capacity of around 57,500 for football. The opponent was not announced with the official event announcement, and will be revealed at a later date. It will not be the Washington Capitals, perhaps the most logical opponent, whose rekindled rivalry with the Hurricanes took flight in Carolina’s first-round playoff upset of the defending Stanley Cup champions last season. Caps reporters tweeted Saturday afternoon that Washington will not be the opponent.
A good bit of speculation surrounds the Pittsburgh Penguins as a potential opponent. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford once held the same position with the Hurricanes and still maintains a home in Raleigh.
Hosting an outdoor game has required a good bit of maneuvering through the political halls of local and state government. Chip Alexander of the News and Observer previously reported that the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance has committed to assisting with funding, and the Hurricanes had also approached the Centennial Authority for additional funding for the event.
The Hurricanes are one of six NHL teams to have never participated in an outdoor game, joining the Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights. The clock is ticking until the Hurricanes will no longer be a part of that list.
(Now’s a good time to remind you of our upcoming watch party at Buffalo Brothers next Saturday, when we’ll presumably be celebrating the outdoor game finally being confirmed! Join us and let us know you’re coming by clicking here.)
CANES TO HOST NHL STADIUM SERIES AT NC STATE
League announces outdoor game for Carter-Finley Stadium in 2021
The National Hockey League today announced that the Carolina Hurricanes will host the 2021 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series™ on Feb. 20, 2021, outdoors at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium. The Hurricanes’ opponent for the game will be determined at a later date.
“We’re proud to be the first NHL market in the Southeast to host an outdoor game,” said Hurricanes CEO, Owner and Governor Tom Dundon. “We’re going to do everything we can to make as many seats available as possible, because we know how high demand will be for this game, and the epic tailgate that will accompany it.”
The 2021 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series™ will be the 12th NHL Stadium Series game and the 32nd NHL regular-season outdoor game overall. The event will mark the first time the Hurricanes have participated in an outdoor game. Carter-Finley Stadium will become the sixth college football facility to host one of the NHL’s outdoor games, joining Michigan Stadium, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Navy), TCF Bank Stadium (University of Minnesota), Notre Dame Stadium and Falcon Stadium (Air Force).
Information regarding Stadium Series ticket pricing and availability will be announced at a later date. Carolina Hurricanes 2020-21 season ticket members will be guaranteed first access to pre-sales for the event.