The Carolina Hurricanes will host its first-ever outdoor game on Feb. 20, 2021, for the 2020-21 Stadium Series which will be at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, the home of N.C. State’s football team. No opponent has been named as of yet, according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.
“We are thrilled to be bringing an outdoor game to Carolina, and in particular Raleigh,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said at the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche at Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday. “It’s a testament to the great fan base that we’ve always known has been in the (Research) Triangle. It’s great to see the community reengage in the way they have over the last season. “(Hurricanes) attendance this year is up over 25 percent, and there’s no doubt that the fan base is passionate, connected, excited. And I think it’s a testament to the way the team’s playing, and to the efforts that (owner) Tom Dundon and the organization have put into hockey in the Triangle.”
Reports from NHL.com suggest that Carolina Hurricanes’ owner Tom Dundon has been relentless in his pursuit of an outdoor game for his team.
This will be the 12th NHL Stadium Series game and the 32nd regular season outdoor game. Now, only five teams remain who have yet to host a outdoor game, including the Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“We’re very mindful of our experience on New Year’s Day in Dallas, where we had two so-called newer markets participating, and the reaction from the fans for both organizations was incredible,” Bettman said. “Unbelievable, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled. And we’re anticipating the same type of reaction as the Hurricanes host the next stadium series game.”
Initial reports that the opponent might be the rival Washington Capitals have been denied by the team Saturday, according to Washington Post’s Samantha Pell. While the opponent could be anyone, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wonders if it might be the Pittsburgh Penguins, although there are quite a few options for the Hurricanes, including both Florida teams. No word on when their opponent will be announced.
“It’s going to be cool,” Sebastian Aho said (via NHL.com’s Michael Smith). “I obviously haven’t had that experience yet, and it’s the first time here. That’s awesome. I’m sure the fans will be excited, and the whole Raleigh area will be buzzing.”