RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series Game will take over Carter Finley Stadium on Feb. 18 in front of a sold-out crowd of 55,000 when the Carolina Hurricanes host their Metropolitan Division rival Washington Capitals.
It's a big game with a big prime-time audience.
"A lot of eyeballs are going to be on this game," said Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance. "It's on prime time on Saturday night. It's on ABC National, it's on ESPN+. it's going to be televised in more than 100 nations, so it's a great opportunity to promote the Hurricanes, Carter Finley Stadium, and NC State, the city of Raleigh, the region, and the state.
"I've been doing this a long time in sports marketing, and Raleigh, for many, many years, and, I honestly don't remember a game that had this much build-up in terms of anticipation and excitement," Dupree added.
This is the 13th Stadium Series Game -- it was supposed to happen in 2021 but the pandemic put it on ice.
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Now, weeks before the puck drops, the city is building up the hype, literally, with giant murals of players lining high rises around Raleigh.
"It's a big business," Dupree said. "One is in terms of branding and awareness and promoting Raleigh and Wake County as a premier sports event destination. And, the other factor is the economic impact putting lots of customers in restaurants and lots of people in stores while they're here for that weekend."
While the full economic impact won't be known until after the event, other similar events have brought in millions.
The 2022 Stadium Series in Nashville brought in $14.3 million according to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., while the 2023 Winter Classic Boston had a $22.8 million economic impact according to Meet Boston.
And, the upcoming NHL All-Star weekend in Ft. Lauderdale is expected to give a boost of between $25 million and $30 million to the region, according to Visit Lauderdale.
In Raleigh, hotel rooms at the Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown are almost sold out for the weekend of the game as events will be held before and after the Stadium Series.
"If you need a room, go ahead and book it now because they are slim pickings from what we're seeing at this moment," said Max Houseworth, General Manager of Residence Inn Raleigh. "We have people coming from all across the state of North Carolina in order to be right here in Raleigh for the weekend."