UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The NHL's Centennial Fan Arena made its way to New York this weekend, where New York Islanders fans were able to participate in an interactive experience to help honor the League's first 100 years.
The festivities began Saturday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow, New York, where fans had the rare opportunity to watch the Islanders practice.
They concluded with a celebration on Sunday at the Islanders' former home, now known as NYCB Live, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Prior to a preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers, fans had a chance have their picture taken with the Stanley Cup.
Sunday was a special day for Islanders fans, who were back at the building where they grew up watching their favorite hockey team play. The Islanders played at the Coliseum from 1972-2015 before moving to Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
"For a lot of Long Island kids growing up, this was like a second home," said Ed Tierney, who grew up in Huntington, New York, and now lives in Manhattan. "To finally come back for at least one game, it's quite special. You see the familiar faces, the people tailgating [in the parking lot], it's a great experience."
The main attraction over the weekend was a 53-foot museum truck with an innovative interior featuring more than 1,000 square feet of interactive digital displays, original video content, historical memorabilia and unique photo moments. A second trailer hosted a giant video screen featuring Islanders trivia and highlights. A pop-up ball hockey rink gave kids a chance to participate in programmed games and clinics.
A virtual reality experience allowed fans from across North America to compete against each other in a race to resurface the ice. Fans sat in a mini-Zamboni, feeling cool air on their skin while their seat rumbled as they tried to create the perfect sheet of ice.
The NHL's Centennial celebration officially began on Jan. 1 with the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic outdoor game, when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in overtime in front of 40,148 fans at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. Throughout the year, the Centennial celebration will include a variety of important content initiatives, ceremonies, recognitions, observances and special events.
The next stop for the NHL Centennial Fan Arena will be at Capital One Arena in Washington on Sept. 22-23.
Fans are encouraged to visit NHL.com/100, the central hub of all NHL Centennial news, content, videos, images, and NHL Centennial Fan Arena and NHL Centennial events.