Crews work around the clock to get rink ready for NHL Stadium Series game | Countdown to Game Day

Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Ice being prepared for Stadium Series game in Raleigh
The ice is being prepared for the NHL's Stadium Series game at Carter-Finley Stadium.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- We are only five days away from this epic Stadium Series game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals.

We have been tracking the progress since crews arrived to transform Carter-Finley Stadium into a winter wonderland for hockey fans.

MORE INFO: ABC11's Guide to Capitals vs Canes in NHL Stadium Series 2023 in Raleigh

There's a lot to unpack before Saturday, and around the clock, you can expect crews out here crossing the Ts and dotting the Is.

Chopper11 captured video Monday morning of Zambonis clearing the ice and crews will work for hours overnight getting that ice ready for Saturday.

The Carolina Hurricanes are taking on the Washington Capitals this Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.

The lines and the logos will go down on the ice Monday evening. So come Tuesday morning, we'll be able to get a good bird's eye view of what the rink will look like.

And of the 57,000 people for the sold-out game, ABC11 has learned Monday night of additional on-the-field seating - something that has never been done before - that will be filled with N.C. State students.

Speaking of N.C. State, the university band will be performing ahead of the game and during the second intermission.

Earlier, the NHL's Chief Content Creator spoke to ABC11's DeJuan Hoggard about the importance of introducing new people to the sport and diversifying the fan base. He also referred to the area as being "intoxicated" about the Capitals-Canes matchup.

He also spoke about the relationship the league has with the Canes and the Wolfpack, and how both brands will be highlighted on the world stage.

"I think you'll see in things that we're going to incorporate from a creative standpoint, we're really going all in on NC State as well," the NHL's Steve Mayer said. "Whether it's alumni, whether it's the marching band or other elements that you might see during a football game, that's part of why it's so special wherever we go. To really celebrate where we're at and show it off not only to those who are in the stadium but those who are watching not only across the US but around the world.

"We'll be proud to show off NC State as well as Carolina Hurricanes," Mayer added.

The glass around the rink is scheduled to be installed Wednesday morning.

Fans are already gearing up with merchandise already flying off the shelves.

We talked with Brian Gordon who bought his and his wife's tickets in November.

The transformation continues at Carter-Finley Stadium as zambonis hit the newly-constructed ice rink.

He was here Monday picking up a patch for his jersey.

"We have been excited for years I mean this has been three years we've been waiting on it two years they had to cancel it," said Gordon.

ALSO SEE: Former goalie Cam Ward to be inducted into Carolina Hurricanes Hall of Fame

The fun begins Friday with the Carolina Hurricanes Fan Fest in downtown Raleigh.

The free event will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. rain or shine. ABC11 is a proud sponsor of the event.

Then on Feb. 18, it is game time as the Hurricanes take on the Capitals.

The puck is scheduled to drop at 8 p.m. You can watch the game on ABC11 or on ESPN+.