Experiencing Outdoor Hockey in a Football Stadium.

Last weekend, while I was out in Pittsburgh, PA, I attended the NHL® Stadium Series™ game that was being played at Heinz Field, the home of football’s Pittsburgh Steelers®. The game was on Saturday, February 25th, and featured the Pittsburgh Penguins® taking on the Philadelphia Flyers® for the 50th anniversary between these two teams in the “Battle for Pennsylvania” intrastate rivalry.

There was some initial concern earlier in the week about the weather with the possibility of it being in the 50s and raining. As the week went on, the forecast changed to show rain mostly in the morning and the temperatures getting around the 20s and 30s at night. The game time was moved to around 8pm at night so everything ended up working out nicely for some outdoor hockey. I don’t make it to NHL games very often, so I was excited to see what the atmosphere would be like when held at an NFL stadium.

Even though we (Daktronics) have the displays at Heinz Field, we also provided on-site technical and event support as well as providing creative content for this NHL game. Our regional technician and application engineers made it out to Pittsburgh earlier in the week to help make sure everything was set up for the game. Preparation included setting up such things as the goal lights all the way through to the stat layouts for the displays in the stadium. With the facility primarily used for NFL games, the stats and data coming in would be from a different source for an NHL game and needed to be set up correctly and tested before the puck drop.

With this being held at a football stadium, there was a lot of room between the ice rink and the fans in the stands. This extra space was partially used for concerts between the periods of the game. They had an area to let fans come down from the stands to get closer to the stage for the concert and then they could go back up to their seats before the start of the next period.


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It was a very entertaining game, even when the temperature dropped into the 20s and the wind picked up making it feel colder. This was a huge difference from the 70-degree weather in Pittsburgh the day before. Everything ended up working out great and the Penguins came away with a 4-2 victory. It’s always exciting being around in the control room after a game is over and seeing all the operators being excited that everything went well. All the employees for the NHL, Penguins and even the Steelers were around helping with the game. I overheard them, several times, talking to our technicians and telling them they were so thankful they were around to help make sure everything went smooth.

Events like these always remind me that while our customers value the products that we make, they very much value the services that we provide out in the field.

profile-pictureThis article is by Matt Anderson
in Live Events Marketing.
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