Newark, NJ – The National Hockey League announced today that the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series will take place at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets. The New Jersey Devils are to take part in the Stadium Series, facing off against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Feb. 17th. The Devils will act as the home team, the Flyers are visitors.
The announcement also reveals the New York Islanders will play host to the New York Rangers on Sunday, Feb.18th. The event will mark the first time the four NHL teams have played outdoor games at the same venue in front of fans.
According to the press release:
“The State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority are excited to partner with the NHL and MetLife Stadium to deliver the NHL Stadium Series to the region. This is the first time that New Jersey is hosting this prestigious event and the first NHL Stadium Series to feature games on consecutive days. The NJSEA provides operational support to the MetLife Sports Complex and is proud to participate in the NHL Stadium Series. MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, N.J., hosts the world’s biggest events on the world’s biggest stage. Event highlights include the first outdoor, cold-
weather Super Bowl XLVIII, WrestleMania 29 and 35, the Copa America Centenario Final, and 2021 Army-Navy Game. MetLife Stadium will serve as an official match venue and New York/New Jersey an official Host City for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”
Why New Jersey?
It’s been a decade since the Devils were featured in an outdoor contest. The last time there was an outdoor game in the Metropolitan area, the Rangers faced off against the Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field in 2018. It wasn’t exactly a showcase of talent as both the Rangers and Sabres finished in last place of their respective divisions that season. This time around, the NHL is looking to showcase the up-and-coming talent in New Jersey.
“Let’s talk about the Devils, said Dean Matsuzaki, NHL Executive Vice President of Events. “We do track teams that are having a certain level of success. Our goal is to celebrate the NHL, celebrate the area that we’re going to (play in). Sometimes timing is such that when a team is on the rise we want to showcase them. We’ve been watching how New Jersey is playing and how they have great young players. This will be quite the showcase for them. The time was right.”
Much like the Super Bowl, outdoor games have typically featured music artists attending the event. For New Jersey, names such as Bruce Springsteen and John Bon Jovi come to mind. However, the NHL hasn’t begun the process of figuring out who their entertainment for each game will be.
“We’re gonna lean into the music scene with some of those typical names,” said Matsuzaki. “We haven’t started that process yet. We’re making this announcement today. But, as we normally do, we’d like to go as big as we can when it comes to music and some of the activities around the game as well.”
Although all four participating teams are from relatively the same area, each team and city has it’s own unique qualities. According to Matsuzaki, their focus for each game is to focus on what makes each team unique, including the possibility of a change to the aesthetic from one game to the next.
“When the Devils are playing the Flyers, we’re going to focus on those two franchises. And the next day (when the Islanders face the Rangers) we’ll switch it up. Whether we switch up the look of the field is still something that (we) need to talk about because we could potentially do that from one day to the next as well.”
Devils Outdoor History
The Flyers have played four outdoor games and hold a 1-3-1 record without a roof. The Devils last played in an outdoor game in 2014 in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium against the Rangers.
Patrik Eliáš scored twice, once to open the game and again to tie the game at one on the power play. Travis Zajac gave the Devils a 3-1 lead before Mats Zuccarello helped mount a comeback with a two-goal effort for New York. Jaromir Jagr registered two primary assists. The Rangers eventually claimed a 7-3 victory.
For news and updates on the 2024 Stadium Series, fans can sign up using the following links for the respective games: