Following a five-game road trip, the Chicago Blackhawks will finally head home to the United Center for their 2023-24 season home opener against the reigning Stanley Cup defenders Vegas Golden Knights.
It will also be the first regular season home game for rookie Connor Bedard and company, giving fans their first glimpse at the new-look Blackhawks.
Here is how the festivities will unfold on Saturday, weather permitting:
3 p.m. – Pregame Festivities
Things will get going at the United Center at 3 p.m., with outdoor bars and viewing areas opening at that time. Parking lots around the arena will open at 2:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m. – Red Carpet Arrivals
Madison Street will be closed to traffic for the pregame festivities and that will culminate with the red carpet arrivals of the 2023-24 Blackhawks.
Players will sign autographs and soak up the adulation of fans ahead of the game in what has become a yearly tradition.
5 p.m. – Doors Open
As soon as the red carpet wraps up, the doors will open both to the arena and to the Atrium.
The first 15,000 fans, age 21 and older, will receive a light-up rally towel as they enter the arena, according to the Blackhawks.
The Atrium will also host a series of special events and activations, including a Q-and-A session with legendary defenseman Chris Chelios.
6:45 p.m. – Fans in Their Seats
The Blackhawks say that fans will want to be in their seats 15 minutes prior to the scheduled puck drop. Players will be introduced to the home faithful as part of a pregame ceremony, and all the new pregame videos and introductions will also make their season debut.
Finally, the team will hold a pregame tribute to Rocky Wirtz, the late chairman of the organization.
7 p.m. – Puck Drop
The Blackhawks will take on the Golden Knights for their home opener, aiming to make a statement against one of the league’s best teams.
More information can be found on the Blackhawks’ website.