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Centennial Fan Arena

Stadium Series festivities begin at The PreGame

Stanley Cup, NHL Centennial Fan Arena, warm weather highlight Heinz Field tailgate party

by Bill Price / Editor-in-Chief

PITTSBURGH -- It may be February, but it felt like June in the Steel City on Friday, and the spring-like weather was not the only reason.

The Stanley Cup, which the Pittsburgh Penguins won last June, was on display at The PreGame, the official tailgate party of the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. The PreGame, located outside Heinz Field, where the Penguins will play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV), is open to fans from 3-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

With sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s, fans wearing shorts and hockey jerseys waited on line to have photos taken with the Cup.

"It's pretty awesome getting to see the Stanley Cup live," said Bryan Mullen of Pittsburgh, who was at The PreGame with his wife, Sarah, and daughters and Jenna, 4, and Lauren, 2. "It was surreal.

"It's great to bring the girls here, to see [the Cup] and share my love of hockey with them."

One of the highlights of The PreGame is the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, which features a 53-foot museum truck with more than 1,000 square feet of interactive digital displays, original video content, historical memorabilia and unique photo moments.

John Kolesar of Pittsburgh said his favorite part of the Fan Arena was the virtual Stanley Cup, a display that allows fans to get a close-up look at the names of their favorite teams or players listed on the Cup using a touch screen.

Emily Schmidt, a Carolina Hurricanes season ticket holder who drove eight hours from Durham, North Carolina with Kolesar to see the outdoor game on Saturday, said the whole experience was special.

"It's not something you do all the time," Schmidt said. "It's neat that it's different. Really cool to get to do that experience."

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