Heinz Field underwent a miraculous transformation to give fans an experience of a lifetime as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers brought their rivalry to NFL stadium for the 2017 NHL Stadium Series game.
"When I first got here I was just amazed," Penguins fan Chelsea Steele said. "I was like, 'wow' to seeing the ice on the football field. It is so different from PPG Paints (Arena). I was so amazed about how they got the ice in there. It is such a great setup. It is amazing."
While the Penguins came out with a win, fans were the ultimate winners of the night as they braved the cold weather and filled the stadium, making the place absolutely electric with cheers as they soaked in the outdoor hockey experience.
Will Keler was extremely cold from the 30-degree weather, but was glad things were cold, so that the game ran smoother.
"I love it. Last time we did this we had problems with the heat, the temperature," said Keler, referring to the 2011 Winter Classic between the Pens and Washington Capitals that experienced rain. "I thought it was going to be really warm today but it is frigid. It is cool to watch the whole game this time without any issues or interruptions."
Pens and Flyers fans had an awesome game to watch, and Pittsburgh native Brock Taylor thought the Stadium Series was beyond what he could have hoped. He was also no stranger to Heinz Field, having season tickets for the Steelers.
"For it being February and worrying about the weather up until today and it to be snowing is like the Winter Classic," Taylor said. "It is fantastic out here. It is amazing. I am a season-ticket holder for the Steelers, so it is fantastic to see how it transitioned from green turf to the ice rink and how they decorated. The atmosphere is great. I love it."
On top of Saturday's game, the Penguins held a week of free events and there was a two-day pregame of festivities at Stage AE where fans got to see more cool hockey attractions, special appearances, live music and the NHL Centennial Fan Arena museum. From the attendance and roars from the crowd, it was clear fans took everything in and are hoping for more events like this in the future.
"It is the first time I have ever been here, so it was quite and experience for me," Steele said. "Next time they do it, I would hope more fans would get to come out. It is definitely something to see."