The 2022 Heritage Classic between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs is set to take place in Hamilton on Sunday, March 13.
Before the teams battle it out on the ice, fans will have the opportunity to test their hockey skills and enjoy giveaways as part of the Proline+ NHL Pregame Fan Festival. The festival begins at noon on Sunday and runs through the second intermission of the Heritage Classic.
Fans wanting to attend the Proline+ NHL Pregame will need a ticket for the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic as the festival will be a part of the game experience.
“There has not been too many times, but there have been a few times, where the pregame has been inside ticketed areas. It made sense for this venue to have the pregame in the confines and be an extension of the concourse,” said Nicholas Gennarelli, Vice-President, NHL Fan Events.
Due to the size of this year’s fan festival, Cannon Street East will be closed to accommodate all of the activities.
“For an event of this size, and then the record number of partners that we have for this event from our from our side, it was a no brainer for us to reach out to the city and and get the street closure for five or six days, which has been awesome,” said Gennarelli. “The City has been great to work with during the entire planning process.”
Several NHL partners will have attractions for fans including Tim Hortons, Clorox, ESSO, Kruger and Scotiabank, just to name a few.
“Our partnership has only been going north, which is a great thing for the league. And it is clear that all of our partners want to engage with with all of our events. And there’s a high percentage, over 50 per cent, that are activating from the last Heritage Classic in 2019,” Gennarelli said.
Over the course of the afternoon, fans will have the opportunity to enter draws for amazing prizes including a draw from Kruger Products, who will give away a premium seat upgrade for the game.
If fans are looking to test their hockey skills, there will be several opportunities to do just that as Clorox will have their “Beat the Sneeze” tent where fans will show off their fastest slapshot to beat the speed of a sneeze, for a chance to land on the leaderboard.
At the Nestle tent, fans can test out their strength with the KITKAT Hardest Shot challenge while others can see if they can shoot like Ray Bourque at the Oikos Accuracy Challenge. At the Olymel tent, fans can test their shooting accuracy. At the Ticketmaster tent, die-hard fans can show off their amazing wrist shot by aiming for the bullseye.
For fans wanting a more relaxing time, they can visit the Canadian Tire tent to help them celebrate their 100th birthday or visit Chipotle’s Slap Shot Challenge to win a prize.
For fans wanting to share in the glory of Olympic gold, they can stop by the Scotiabank tent where they can meet, get autographs and photos with members of the gold medal winning Canadian Women’s Hockey Team.
“I am really looking forward to seeing members of the women’s hockey team. They have given all of us so many great memories over the last month. It is so nice to know that they will be here on Sunday to be recognized for their hard work,” said Ally Penders.
The highlight for many fans will be the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Stanley Cup, which will be on display from 12:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“There are a lot of great activities here and it is literally fun for everyone,” said Michael Stamou. “There are activities for all age groups and it really promotes the game of hockey in a fun, unique way.”