NHL Stadium Series spotlights Raleigh’s hockey market

Sam Prestipino, Editor-in-Chief

One of the largest events in the history of the city of Raleigh was hosted this past Saturday. The NHL Stadium Series game was a boost for Raleigh’s economy and showcased the city’s market for professional sports. 

“By any measurement or definition in Raleigh, it’s one of the biggest events we’ve ever hosted,” said Scott Dupree with the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance via WRAL.

 The outdoor hockey game played at NC State’s football stadium, Carter-Finley Stadium, featured the local Carolina Hurricanes and the visiting Washington Capitals.

Ticket data obtained by WRAL showed that nearly half of the ticket purchasers came from outside of the Wake County area, which means that revenue spent at surrounding establishments increased drastically.

Raleigh isn’t new to hosting big events for the NHL. In 2004 the city hosted the NHL Entry Draft which saw Alex Ovechkin get drafted. In 2006, they hosted and won the Stanley Cup Final, and in 2011 they hosted the NHL All-Star Game. Hosting an outdoor game is the crown jewel for a franchise that has only been around for 25 years.

The game featured a sold-out Carter-Finley Stadium and tailgaters lining the streets hours before puck drop. You could sense the excitement in the air throughout the weekend and the hours leading up to the game. 

The game itself was pandemonium. Fans rushed into the stadium as it opened and sprinted to the local food trucks and food stands. The wave of spectators would continue to their seats and would be wild the whole night. The spectacle would continue as the NC State band introduced the teams onto the playing surface. 

The Hurricanes would dominate all night and send the electric crowd home happy with a 4-1 victory.

The event was a dream for not just hockey fans, but for sports fans in general. It really gave you a sense of pride seeing your city pull off something of this stature.

Being able to host an event of this magnitude shows other interested parties that Raleigh can handle major events like this. Future business opportunities for sports in the triangle are sure to boom with the success of this event.