Carter-Finley transformation into NHL stadium continues, Caniacs pumped | Countdown to Game Day

Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Work continues on the rink for Stadium Series game
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Tens of thousands of fans will be in the stands Saturday for the historic game featuring country music star Jake Owen as featured musical artist.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The work continued Tuesday at Carter-Finley Stadium as crews work on the rink for the Stadium Series game featuring the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals.

The rink under the lights on Saturday night will look absolutely gorgeous. Even here now just four days away, one can feel the excitement in the air -- with crews working on the rink and organizing the concourse for concessions and fan apparel.

Tens of thousands of fans will be in the stands Saturday for the historic game featuring country music star Jake Owen who will be performing in the first intermission, according to the National Hockey League.

Lovelytheband will be performing during the pregame festivities.

On Tuesday, crews began to add netting around the rink. They'll begin putting up the glass on Wednesday.

As things heat up ahead of Saturday, the league is keeping a watchful eye on the temperatures outside. Rain isn't as much a concern as warm temperatures -- which heats the ice much more quickly.

Earlier Tuesday, a reflective sheet was placed over the ice to keep the sun from melting it.

As ice crews continue to monitor the temperature of the rink and hope for brisk weather, fans have a wish list of their own for when the puck drops at 8 p.m. Saturday.

"Hopefully good weather," Connor Inman said. "But a win, most importantly."

Canes fan Suzanne Lozoya added: "Hopefully a win. And just the fact that it's at Carter-Finley, it's outside. So it's going to feel like, a nice and chilly -- it'll be a true Hurricanes game hopefully."

Lozoya was leaving "The Eye" at PNC Arena, getting ready for Saturday and getting a surprise gift for her husband on St. Valentine's Day.

"I got a Stadium jersey as a present for my husband for Valentine's Day," she said. "He knows he's going (to the game), but he doesn't know he has a jersey."

Canes fan Roy Whitaker will also be there. He's coming in all the way from Lake Norman, near Charlotte.

"We've been fans all along. And as soon as the tickets came on sale through the Wolfpack Club, we jumped on board," Whitaker said. "We'll be there. Eight of us coming in."

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There's also a better idea of how things will look once everything is in place. The NC State Marching Band will be seated in the north end zone.

The south end zone is where NC State students will get to enjoy the entire game.

The silver, black and red color scheme celebrates the Hurricanes' 25th anniversary.

Crowd size is expected to be nearly three times as many people that can pack into PNC Arena.

"It's one of the reasons why we play games in stadiums. Obviously, 20,000 fans can go to the arena. This is a game that is boosted at 57,000. We're sold out. And it's to bring new fans in. And to expose the sport in a way that potentially has not been exposed. We want people to come here," said Steve Mayer with the NHL.

The parking lot will open at 2 p.m. in the afternoon on Saturday. Organizers are encouraging people to come early. Stadium gates open at 6 p.m.

Don't forget about Carolina Hurricanes Fan Fest that is taking place in downtown Raleigh on Friday. ABC11 is a proud partner of the event.