Work is underway at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, as the venue is preparing to host an NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs.
On March 3, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD will host the NHL Stadium Series contest that features the Capitals and the visiting Maple Leafs. The game is just over a week away, and construction crews have already begun the process of preparing the stadium to host the outdoor hockey matchup.
Work to construct the rink has gotten underway, a key step in readying Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to host its first outdoor hockey game. Fan demand for the tickets to the game has reportedly been strong, giving NHL officials the expectation of a sell out. More from The Washington Post:
The 53-foot, 300-ton capacity refrigeration unit that houses the ice plant used to make the NHL-caliber sheet of ice for the outdoor game arrived Sunday and the middle of the stadium has been packed with decking for the construction of the rink. Just outside of the stadium sat the trailer — one of the world’s largest mobile rink refrigeration units, specifically built for outdoor games.
The game between the Capitals and the Maple Leafs will be the first outdoor hockey game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and the largest professional event held at the venue. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he expects the game to sell out, noting the pace of ticket sales has started to pick up.
“We really haven’t seen a softening in the market,” said Daly, regarding the uptick in outdoor games over the years. “I think the Stadium Series games are a little different, more unique than the Winter Classic just in terms of how the marketing efforts are and this is really intended to be a local game for local fans supporting their team in a big way.”
For the Capitals, the upcoming Stadium Series contest will be the second time since 2015 that the franchise has played in an outdoor NHL game. The most recent outdoor game for the team was the 2015 Winter Classic at Nationals Park, home to MLB’s Nationals.