Countdown to Game Day | Glass installed as Carter-Finley transforms into NHL rink for big game

Thursday, February 16, 2023
Glass installed around rink at Carter-Finley Stadium
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Watch the transformation at Carter-Finley from a football field to an ice rink for the NHL Stadium Series game this Saturday in Raleigh.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Workers started installing the glass around the skating rink at Carter-Finley Stadium that will host the NHL Stadium Series game Saturday between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals.

The glass is one of the final touches that will make the rink game ready for its primetime debut on national television.

This outdoor game is the first to be held in Raleigh, and it makes Raleigh one of only two cities in the United States to host an outdoor NHL game, a Stanley Cup Final game, the NHL All-Star Game and the NHL Draft.

Crews are working extra hard monitoring the weather to keep the ice in tip-top playing condition. Right now, the day looks like it will be incredible for fans but rough on the ice itself.

Rain isn't much of a concern but warm temperatures could cause the ice to melt more quickly than expected. Tuesday, a reflective sheet was placed over the ice to keep the sun from melting it.

WATCH: Downtown Raleigh businesses gearing up for big week as Stadium Series excitement builds

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."

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.

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.

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