Outdoor NHL hockey will make its debut in New Jersey next year with a four-team doubleheader in the league’s so-called Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
The National Hockey League announced Saturday that the New Jersey Devils will face the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night, Feb. 17, and the Islanders will face the Rangers on the same ice the next day.
The league announced it would continue its 37-game sell-out streak for regular season outdoor games, which began in 2003 in its modern form, with more than 75,000 spectators expected per game.
“This is a big NFL stadium, and quite frankly, our goal is to bring it to life in a way that we haven’t seen many things before,” said Steve Mayer, NHL’s chief content officer. Told. “We’re going to be very creative and highlight this area.”
Mayer and Dean Matsuzaki, the league’s executive vice president of events, said they had long wanted to host outdoor games at MetLife Stadium. But it’s home to two NFL teams, the Giants and Jets, and they said the logistics are more complicated than at many other stadiums because they have less time to access the facility for preparation. However, they noted that the size of the venue could accommodate four teams, with scheduled practice time and recreational ice time with families for all four.
If either or both games are postponed due to bad weather over the weekend, the teams are scheduled to be off the following Monday. The exact number of seats will depend on the planned construction of the lower seating area in preparation for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
In 2014, the Rangers played the Devils and Islanders three days apart at Yankee Stadium. About 50,000 fans gathered for each game. The largest outdoor NHL game of the regular season was held at Michigan Stadium in 2014, when an estimated 105,491 fans watched the Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs. The last outdoor game held in the New York area was the Winter Classic between the Rangers and the Buffalo Sabers at Citi Field on frigid New Year’s Day 2018, when temperatures rose from 7 degrees Fahrenheit to highs in the morning. In the meantime, 41,000 fans watched. 25 o’clock.
Mayer said organizers hope to enhance next year’s event with additional entertainment, youth hockey games and music. When asked if he wanted New Jersey natives like Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen to appear, Mayer asked reporters if they had Springsteen’s phone number and said, “I want to talk to him right away.” I think,” he added with a laugh.