NEW YORK - The 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series™ outdoor game between the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo. will honor the armed forces and celebrate the contributions of USA Hockey, the National Hockey League announced today. More than 1,000 Air Force cadets, four F35 Lightening II jets, three F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, one KC-10 tanker aircraft, parachute members from the Air Force's Wings of Blue, and members of the Air Force Academy's drum & bugle corps, acapella group, honor guard and spirit team will take part in the festivities. The game will be broadcast live in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on NBC in the U.S. and on SN360 and TVAS2 in Canada.
The U.S. Air Force Academy's 66-year history inspired the field design and décor surrounding the NHL regulation rink. The NHL's transformation of Falcon Stadium for the NHL Stadium Series™ features the first ever F16 Thunderbird aircraft sitting atop a simulated airfield, runways adorned with working lights, a helipad serving as the musical stage, and landing zones for parachute jumpers. The more than 1,000 cadets taking part in the pregame and intermission festivities will be seated in chairs on the field, making this the first-ever NHL outdoor game to have spectators on the playing field.
The pregame festivities will begin with the on-field arrival of the Avalanche and Kings. In keeping with the Air Force Academy's game day tradition of the Falcon Walk, the Avalanche will be greeted by cadets, drum & bugle corps, spirit team and "The Bird" Mascot outside the stadium. Formal player introductions will conclude with a flyover featuring three F-16s from the 140th Fighter Wing, Buckley AFB, Colo., and one KC-10 from the 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.
The anthem ceremony will begin with a performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by the U.S. Air Force Academy's premier, all-male a Capella group, "In the Stairwell," led by soloist 2nd Lt. Ben Hightower, and will feature the cadet honor guard's presentation of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. flags. Cadets will line the field for the national anthem. Members of the USAF Academy's Wings of Blue parachute team, outfitted in illuminated suits, will deliver the game puck.
Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, the first commander of U. S. Space Command, and Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria, the 20th Superintendent of the U. S. Air Force Academy, will take part in the ceremonial puck drop.
USA Hockey's long history of excellence, growth and inclusiveness will be showcased during the second intermission with members of the eight gold-medal U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sled hockey teams spanning 60 years taking part in a special salute to the national governing body. Bill Cleary (1960 Men's), Guy Gosselin (2018 Paralympic Sled), Nicole Hensley (2018 Women's), Taylor Lipsett (2010 & 2014 Paralympic Sled), A.J. Mleczko Griswold (1998 Women's), Buzz Schneider (1980 Men's), Kip St. Germaine (2002 Paralympic Sled) and Andy Yohe (2010 Paralympic Sled) will be joined by more than 30 local youth hockey players for the tribute, followed by a performance of "America the Beautiful" by USAFA's "In the Stairwell."
As previously announced, award-winning country star Sam Hunt will take the stage in the first intermission presented by Ticketmaster. Hunt will release his second album, Southside, on April 3, with his The Southside Summer Tour 2020 set to launch on May 28.
USAFA's drum & bugle corps will serve as the house band and the Air Force spirit team will entertain fans throughout the game.
NHL Network™ and NHL.com will provide extensive coverage live from the event leading up to and after the game. NHL Social™ will provide coverage on all social platforms via the official event hashtag NHL #StadiumSeries. Additional details are available at NHL.com/StadiumSeries.