TORONTO -- Hockey fans not only will get to see the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings play in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV), they will also get the first chance to experience the NHL Centennial Fan Arena located at the official tailgate party, The PreGame.
The initiative will bring fans closer to the game by combining NHL traditions with the latest technology when the League celebrates its centennial anniversary.
Two 53-foot trucks, wrapped with giant images of 24 legendary players from the NHL's first 100 years, will log more than 50,000 miles when they make their way across five provinces and 17 states for fans in all 31 NHL markets to experience.
"Principle among the objectives as we build out the centennial events is to make sure that the events we are building are a celebration of our fans and our fan base," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "We know we wouldn't be here 100 years into our history without our fans, and they will be our primary engine as we move forward growing the game into our next 100 years."
The main attraction is the Museum Truck featuring interactive digital displays, original video content, one-of-a-kind historical memorabilia, unique photo moments, and a social media wall. When the truck makes a stop in each NHL city, it will be customized to feature the history of the host club. A second truck, the Video Truck, displays team trivia and highlights on a giant screen and will be outfitted with a pop-out stage for special appearances and viewing parties.
The tour includes a pop-up ball hockey rink for games and hockey clinics for youth players to show their skills. Virtual reality will be front and center with the Clear The Ice Zamboni VR Experience, giving fans the chance to compete against each other in a race to resurface the ice. Sitting in a mini-Zamboni, fans will feel a cool breeze and their seat rumble as they experience what so many people have always dreamed of doing: driving the Zamboni.
"You have to marry the great culture and tradition in the game with technology which is our future," Deputy Commissioner Daly said. "You'll see the great technologies in terms of how we can communicate and distribute our game and our content to our fans going forward. That's going to be a big part of our future."
To cap off each stop, the Stanley Cup will make an appearance. Throughout the tour, NHL teams will reach out to their community to ensure a diverse audience is being invited to attend and participate in the NHL Centennial Fan Arena. To further the League-wide commitment to improve hockey's environmental footprint while supporting youth hockey, a special net will be available for fans to donate used hockey equipment.
Once the NHL Fan Arena ends its stay in Toronto on New Year's Day, its next stops will be in Arizona on Jan. 7-8, Dallas on Jan. 12-14, San Jose on Jan. 18-19 and Anaheim on Jan. 21-23 before arriving in Los Angeles on Jan. 26 for the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game.