NHL Stadium Series, Raleigh: Everything You Need to Know

Take warning, hockey fans, there’s a big storm coming! The Carolina Hurricanes, whose home arena is the PNC Arena, will host an outdoor ice hockey game next door at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium against the Washington Capitals in the Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series™.

Thousands of fans at an indoor ice hockey game
Raleigh is home to the Carolina Hurricanes

This is the first time the Canes will host or partake in an outdoor ice hockey contest. This unique event is a chance for Raleigh to showcase our vibrant spirit, excellence in ice hockey, and welcoming spirit.

Whether you can get tickets to the game or not, the city is putting on several events (some free) in the days leading up to, the day of, and the days after the Saturday night game to help all appreciate the fever of ice hockey and the annual traveling Stadium Series™ Event.

What is Stadium Series?

Hockey player image on the side of a building
Promotional graphic for Stadium Series in North Hills, Raleigh

The NHL Stadium Series™ is basically an outdoor professional ice hockey game. It happens once a year and in a different location in the USA and Canada.

The first game was in 2014 at the LA Dodgers Stadium where it became more than just a game with entertainment and festivities for all surrounding the game.

Four games were held that year followed by One NHL Stadium Series™ game in 2015, two in 2016, and only one a year since 2017 (excluding 2021 due to COVID-19).

women and girls in carolina hurricanes locker room next to jerseys
Number 1 Fans, lol.

Player’s love playing outdoors as it takes them back to their childhood, and fans love the NHL Stadium Series™ for the nostalgic feel it adds to the sport, and crisp winter air with a chance of snow. Those odds are pretty low in Raleigh, but a wintry atmosphere is still a given. Beanies are a must.

The National Hockey League announced on February 15, 2020, that the Canes would host a Stadium Series game at NC State University’s Carter–Finley Stadium in 2021. Due to the pandemic, the game was postponed, but on March 3, 2022, the NHL announced the game vs the Capitals would take place on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

Aerial view of an empty football stadium
Carter-Finley Stadium, home of NC State Football

This will be the first outdoor game for the Carolina Hurricanes, making them the 28th NHL® team to experience this outdoor professional hockey game.

The Washington Capitals are 3-0 in their outdoor games. With the home team advantage, surely, they’ll feel the strength of a Category Five team intent on interrupting their winning streak.

Football fans dressed in red in the grandstand watching a game
Imagine 56,000+ hockey fans here on February 18.

What makes this 13th Stadium Series™ even more special for Raleigh and North Carolina is that the game is happening during the Canes 25th Anniversary Season! Go Canes.

2023 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series Game

GAME DAY! Of course, this is the reason for the series. The battle of the outdoor puck between the Washingtons Capitals® and Carolina Hurricanes® will start at 8pm.

Gates for the event open at 6pm. Don’t forget the pre-game party next door at PNC (details below).

The contest will be broadcast nationally on ABC and ESPN+ so gather with your friends and watch in a Raleigh sports bar if you can’t attend as the tickets are expensive. You can purchase tickets here.

The jerseys the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals will wear when they face off in the 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series™ outdoor game have been unveiled. Here is the Canes uniform below.

Super fans can purchase jerseys at adidas.com, adidas.caNHLShop.com, NHLShop.ca, and at Capitals‘ and Hurricanes‘ team stores. 

We are thrilled to be attending the game as guests of Visit Raleigh and will be sharing lots of fun content from the pregame events and from game day at Carter-Finely on our Instagram account.

Parking for the NHL Stadium Series Game

Aerial view of an empty football stadium

On the day of the game, parking lots will open at 2 p.m. Fans are advised to arrive early and be prepared for stoppages near the stadium to accommodate the expected large crowd and the varying parking procedures in place. All parking will be general admission, and the cost of parking will be $40.

Prepaid parking information and availability has been emailed directly to Stadium Series ticket holders by the NHL. Those with tickets to the Stadium Series should check the email associated with the account used to purchase Stadium Series tickets for prepaid parking options.

  • All guests must be in possession of a valid parking pass for validation upon arrival.
  • Guests with Accessible Parking passes must present their valid ADA parking permit/hang tag and display at all times.
  • The parking pass allows for one space per vehicle.
  • See complete parking info here

We sometimes park at the Backyard Bistro, one of the best sports bars in Raleigh and walk the 10-minutes to Carter-Finley. It will be cheaper than the official parking (typically $20 for football games) and you can have a beer and a drink beforehand. Do check with them first as I’m not sure if it will be different for the Stadium Series.

Couple having drinks at a bar
Pregame drinks at Backyard Bistro

We have also parked at the NC State Fairgrounds before (and streets surrounding) and walked over to Carter-Finley. I can’t guarantee that will be an option.

A great option could be to take an Uber (be aware of traffic and price surges though)! As it will be busy getting out once the game is over, walk to Backyard Bistro or the Fairgrounds to make it easier to get an Uber.

Bag Policy

Bags larger than 4″ x 6″ x 1.5″ (the size of a small clutch) are prohibited. Exceptions may be made for parenting or medically necessary bags.

Gate Information

Gates will open at 6:00 PM. Patrons should enter Carter-Finley Stadium through the gate displayed on their ticket. All guests are required to go through a metal detector and have their bag checked.

Arrive early to alleviate long security screening lines. Access and download your ticket to your iPhone Wallet or Google Pay before heading to the game. Re-entry is NOT permitted once your ticket has been scanned at the entrance of Carter-Finley Stadium.

Seatbacks

Ticketed fans will be permitted to bring their own “seat backs” into Carter-Finley Stadium subject to security screening regulations. Patrons will also have ability to rent these on-site at the venue.

PreGame Show, Saturday Feb 18, 2023

woman and man tailgating next to car
Tailgating before a Canes game is always fun

Hockey fans can get among the atmosphere by participating in the FREE PreGame Fest at PNC arena next door on February 18.

It’s put on by The National Hockey League® (NHL®) and its corporate partners at the Truly Hard Seltzer NHL PreGame, the official NHL tailgate party of the 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series™.

The PreGame will offer fans of all ages, family friendly hockey interactive games and attractions, live music, photo ops with the Stanley Cup, plus more. Head to the East 1000 Parking lot from 2pm-7:30pm on game day.

Other Events in Raleigh For Stadium Series (some Free)

Aerial view of an empty football stadium
PNC Arean is right next door to Carter-Finley!

I feel like devout hockey fans will be at every event for Stadium Series. I am very tempted.

Whether that’s you, or you just want a taste, you have loads of options with Stadium Series events. As this is really a once-in-a-lifetime for Raleigh, I suggest you take advantage of the free events and attend just to say you were there and experienced it.

Here are some of the other events happening over the week.

Hall of Fame Game, Thursday Feb 16, 2023

Be a part of Canes history as they honor former goalie and Stanley Cup champion Cam Ward at the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Montreal Canadiens game in PNC Arena with a special pregame ceremony.

Cam will be inducted into the newly established Hurricanes Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class. Ward will join Rod Brind’Amour, Ron Francis and Glen Wesley.

Carolina Hurricanes Fan Fest, Friday Feb 17, 2023

One of the best free ways to get into the Stadium Series spirit is with Fan Fest, an all-day celebration on Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh.

From City Plaza to the State Capitol Building there will be live music and entertainment, food truck, a drone light show, and a firework show finale! Who needs First Night on New Year’s Eve!

You can also meet Hurricanes alumni, get your photo with the Stanley Cup, play street hockey, and ride the Ferris wheel.

brickhouse sports bar raleigh 2
Who can ever forget the Canes winning the Stanley Cup in 2006

Two stages will be set up for 12 musical acts from North Carolina that include Adam Lee Decker, Into the Fog, Paige King Johnson, James Dunn, Touabab Krewe, Jason Adamo, Mega Colossus, Kooley High, Rosali and Superchunk.

Fan Fest is free, open to the public, and goes from 11am -9pm. Come for a few hours or the whole time. You won’t regret it!

Hootie and the Blowfish, Friday Feb 17, 2023

Can you have a massive Raleigh celebration without one of the most iconic, two-time Grammy Award-winning bands hailing from the Carolinas? I mean, its South Carolina but it’s still the Carolinas!

Aerial view of an dome ice hockey stadium and empty carpark
Hootie plays PNC

A one-night only concert at PNC Arena by Hootie and the Blowfish (with special guest SUSTO) help kick off the pre-party for the Stadium Series outdoor hockey match! This is a ticketed concert.

NC State Vs UNC Basketball, Sunday Feb 19, 2023

But wait, there’s more. And it doesn’t involve pucks or ice, but will appeal to sports lovers, especially those of the dribbling kind. And I don’t mean in your sleep.

A big local rival college basketball match will ramp up this sports-filled weekend in Raleigh – and why not? This is the Triangle, and you know the rivalry is fierce. These two legendary teams will square off at PNC Arena at 1pm on February 19.

Sadly, tickets are sold out. However, there are plenty of sports bars in Raleigh where you can watch the game in a fan-filled environment.

Alumni Game, Monday, Feb 20, 2023

The Hurricanes will host the 10th annual Alumni Game on February 20 at Carter-Finley Stadium. This exclusive event allows fans a chance to skate alongside Hurricanes Alumni and have a one-of-a-kind outdoor game experience. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation.

Empty football stadium surrounded by trees
Watch the Alumni Game at Carter-Finley

 The Alumni Game will start at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. No tickets are required for fans, but the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation will be accepting optional donations at the gates.

The game will consist of three 20-minute periods and will include one full intermission following the second period. Prior to the game, there will be an alumni autograph signing for fans.

NOTE: Fan participation in the game came at a hefty price and is already sold out.

NC State vs. UNC Club Hockey, Monday, Feb 20, 2023

College ice-hockey is not something I’ve ever watched, but with the Stadium Series fever, there’s probably never a better time to start. Parking for the event will cost $10, but there is no cost to attend the game. Puck drop is set for 7pm.

Canes vs. Blues – PNC Arena, Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023

Are you all ice-hockied out yet? I doubt it. There is no game experience more electric than a live ice hockey match.

The Canes’ big week continues when they take on the St. Louis Blues at PNC Arena at 7pm. The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a Sebastian Aho bobblehead courtesy of UNC Health. Get tickets.

NC State vs. Wake Forest Men’s Basketball Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023

Okay, we’re wrapping up the most epic week of sport in Raleigh, with another local rivalry match. This time NC State will host a 40th Anniversary Celebration for the 1983 National Championship team. Tipoff is set for 9pm. Tickets here.

Want more events in Raleigh? Check out this list of things happening in February and the top festivals and events in Raleigh for 2023.

All About Carter-Finley Stadium

Aerial view of an empty football stadium
PNC Arena and Carter-Finley Stadium

We have a complete guide to Carter-Finley Stadium that will tell you:

  • The history and appeal of the stadium (Home of the Wolfpack)
  • The seating experience (including views)
  • What you can bring into the stadium
  • Food and Drink options
  • How to get to Carter-Finley Stadium
  • Great bars and restaurants near the Stadium (some walking distance)

Click here to read our guide to Carter-Finley Stadium

Where to stay near Carter-Finley Stadium

If you’re coming from outside of Raleigh and have not yet booked your accommodation (hurry) here are some of our favorite Raleigh accommodations.

For downtown Raleigh hotels check out this list. And for hotels near Raleigh Airport check these.

If you are visiting from out of town and have a few extra days, here are some guides to help you plan out your days exploring Raleigh:

Are you going to the NHL Stadium Series in Raleigh? Will you attend any of the free events and festivities?

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