SUNRISE, Fla. – Sunrise Sports & Entertainment today announced that the Florida Panthers will celebrate their 20th Anniversary Season home opener this Friday in a special “throwback” opener against the first regular season home opponent in franchise history – the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Festivities begin on the JetBlue Tarmac at 5 p.m. at the BB&T Center and include the unveiling of the Panthers new state-of-the-art scoreboard during pre-game ceremonies. Fans are highly encouraged to wear red in support of the Panthers all season long.
“We are thrilled to finally be celebrating our home opener of the 20th Anniversary of the Florida Panthers,” said Panthers President Michael R. Yormark (@PanthersYormark). “We have a lot of exciting activities and appearances planned. This is something fans won’t want to miss.”
Activities begin on the JetBlue Tarmac with interactive games, an inflatable rink, bounce houses, a live DJ, a Port-A-Party mobile bar, and special appearances by the Redline Lady Panthers and Stanley C. Panther. FOX Sports Florida will broadcast their Panthers LIVE! pre-game show beginning at 7 p.m. including an exclusive interview with owner Vinnie Viola.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with an Opening Night Pennant giveaway provided by Wizard Creations and FOX Sports Florida while the opening pre-game celebrations, including the unveiling of the Panthers new state-of-the art scoreboard begins at 7:20 p.m. followed by a special puck drop ceremony, the national anthem by Lou Galterio and Color Guard sponsored by the Fort Lauderdale Recruiting Company, commanded by Captain Gregory Shepard and led by First Sergeant Bridgett Burns-McDowell. In-game events include the honoring of the first Incapital Heroes Among Us Award presented by Rick Case Automotive group to Navy Chief Petty Officer Janette Chandler. The 30 Merit Medal Winner for Service serves as the Family Readiness Support Assistant for 20 units under 2 Battalion serving over 2174 soldiers and 4000 family members.
Original Panthers captain Brian Skrudland, first draft pick Rob Niedermayer and public address announcer John DeMott will be on hand, with Skrudland and Niedermayer signing autographs during intermissions at the Panthers Den Of Honor on the plaza level and appearing on the air during the FOX Sports Florida broadcasts.
The full Panthers 2013-14 team will sign autographs for kids out on the JetBlue Tarmac approximately 25 minutes following the end of the game.
Thanks to the efforts of Game Day Merchandising, Friday will feature the revealing of the new and improved Pantherland in the main entrance (store opens at 6:30pm), as well as two brand new merchandise locations. The first, the CCM Heritage Store, will be located outside Section 122 featuring Original 6 & Classic NHL Apparel. The second, the Old Time Hockey Panthers Shop, will be located outside Section 112 featuring Panthers apparel with a vintage feel. All three shops will offer limited edition Panthers 20th Anniversary merchandise.
Friday also features the unveiling of two new clubs, the Legends Lounge (formerly Black Velvet Lounge) on the Suite Level and The Penalty Box (formerly Patron Tequila Platinum Club) on the Club Level. Centerplate will offer new menu items for the upcoming season, which include a Sweet Lobster at the Legends Lounge and Braised Short Ribs and Shrimp Stir Fry at the Penalty Box Lounge.
New for this season, the Party City Patio by the North Entrance of the building, along with Section 130, will be open 90 minutes prior to puck drop for Season Seat Owners for food and drink purchases.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or by calling 954-835-PUCK. Friday’s home opener promotions and festivities will be paralleled on the Panthers social media with #CatsAre20.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Florida Panthers Social Media is powered by Ford - follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Home to the Florida Panthers Hockey Club and internationally recognized concerts and events, the Broward County-owned BB&T Center is one of the top ranked venues of its kind in the world.