NHL Stadium Series: Series History & What You Need to Know for 2024

Outdoor hockey has a place in the hearts of all NHL fans — the crisp air and the chance of snow brings a nostalgic feel to the origins of the sport. The NHL Stadium Series embodies this feeling, allowing players and fans to live out their dreams of watching and competing in an outdoor regular-season NHL game. However, with advances in technology, outdoor games are no longer only for teams based in regions with a cold climate.

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When is the 2024 NHL Stadium Series?

The 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series will feature two games across an exciting weekend of hockey. On February 17, 2024, the action kicks off at 8:00 p.m. with the New Jersey Devils competing against the Philadelphia Flyers. The following day, on February 18, 2024 at 3:00 p.m., the New York Rangers will face off against the New York Islanders.

Along with the NHL Winter Classic and the NHL Heritage Classic, the NHL Stadium Series is the only other annual outdoor regular-season NHL game. The Devils and Islanders each will be playing in their second outdoor game. The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 7-3, and the New York Islanders, 2-1, as part of the 2014 Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Where is the 2024 Stadium Series Being Played?

The 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series games will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.

There will be live music entertainment at both games; the Jonas Brothers will perform a pre-game concert on February 17 ahead of the Devils vs. Flyers game. During the game, fellow New Jersey band The Gaslight Anthem will be on hand and play their song “Howl” — the Devils’ goal song — whenever New Jersey lights the lamp. The Gaslight Anthem will also perform songs during the first intermission.

For the Rangers vs. Islanders game on February 18, AJR will play a set during the first intermission.

NHL Stadium Series History

The NHL Stadium Series is a unique regular-season NHL game played outdoors in specialized arenas. Beginning in 2014, the first NHL Stadium Series game was held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings with the Ducks winning the Freeway Series 3-0. This was an extremely significant game in history for the NHL because this was the first outdoor regular-season game to be held West of the Mississippi River, and the first to be held in a warm climate. This was not only a hockey game, it was an experience; famous Dodgers broadcaster, the late Vin Scully, announced the pregame ceremonies, Wayne Gretzky dropped the ceremonial puck and Rock & Roll Hall of Famers KISS performed in-between periods. Dodgers Stadium was also redesigned to allure attendees, creating a sand volleyball court, a roller rink, and a music stage to surround the ice rink in the center.

The 2014 NHL Stadium Series was the first of four NHL Stadium Series games that occurred in 2014. The other three were between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York; the New York Rangers and New York Islanders (again at Yankee Stadium) and the Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field in Chicago. One NHL Stadium Series game was played in 2015, two in 2016, and only one a year since 2017 (excluding 2021 due to COVID-19).

According to NHL.com,“When the NHL builds an outdoor rink, a refrigeration truck pumps glycol through an aluminum floor to transfer heat. The crew mists fine layers of water on top of the floor for hours to produce a dense, thick sheet of ice worthy of an NHL regular-season game.” It’s no surprise the outdoor regular-season NHL games are a hit with the fans and the players. With the 2024 installment of the NHL Stadium Series featuring two games at MetLife Stadium, a fun-filled weekend for all ages is expected in northern New Jersey.

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