NHL Stadium Series jerseys receive mixed reviews
The National Hockey League Stadium Series resulted in the release of a limited edition jersey collection that has fans both excited and disappointed.
On Friday, Jan. 26, hockey fans across the tri-state area jumped to their devices when they heard that the 2024 National Hockey League Stadium Series jerseys had been released. What followed was a mix of reviews, with fans both excited and upset as they took in the extensive advertising campaign.
The Stadium Series is one of the three series of outdoor games played by the NHL every season. During these events, a number of hockey games are played at either a football or baseball stadium. This year, two games are taking place at the MetLife football stadium in New Jersey, the typical home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets of the National Football League.
Each of these games will be accompanied by a concert performance from a popular musical group. On Feb. 17, the New Jersey Devils will face off against the Philadelphia Flyers following a pregame concert by the New Jersey natives, the Jonas Brothers. AJR will play an intermission concert during the game between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders on Feb. 18.
One aspect of this once in a lifetime event is the release of a Stadium Series jersey for each participating team. Occasionally, these new designs have ended up becoming the team's regular alternate jerseys, which has happened for both the Flyers and the Islanders in the past. The Flyers are still currently wearing their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys as their alternates.
This jersey release was coupled with extensive advertising from the NHL. The primary video commercial showed models wearing the jerseys in a subway station, representing the primary mode of transportation in the metro area. This video was shot in a retro style, showing the jerseys worn in a casual setting rather than on the ice. Additionally, the Devils held a media shoot, showcasing many of their players wearing the jerseys. The Flyers held a shoot outside, being the first team to reveal the entire game day outfit. The Islanders and the Rangers both posted breakdowns of the meaning behind all aspects of the jerseys but did not publish media from an additional extensive shoot.
All of the jerseys worn on the ice will be equipped with a patch of the 2024 Stadium Series logo which is specifically designed for the event, bringing in specific elements that will not be seen again. The background of this logo takes the shape of New Jersey, where these games will be played in. This is the first Stadium Series to take place in New Jersey. The lines at the top of the logo mirror the architecture of the MetLife stadium. The green piping around the outside of the logo references the nickname of New Jersey as the “garden state,” the same phrase printed on the state license plate. One additional special feature of these jerseys is the number size. They are printed much larger than normal due to the increased size of the audience, allowing for easier player identification. These larger numbers are a traditional aspect of all outdoor NHL games.
The Philadelphia Flyers have presented a white jersey with the traditional team logo on the front. This jersey has a large orange stripe and a smaller black one with the player name. Orange numbers are on the shoulders and the stadium patch is on the sleeve. This is the third stadium series that the Flyers have played in, with the first two jerseys being orange and black. This white jersey completes the set of three. Many fans were hoping to wear these special edition jerseys to the game, but this is impossible. The Wells Fargo Center website stated that “by pre-ordering you are guaranteed to receive a 2024 Adidas Authentic NHL Stadium Series jersey. Due to supply chain issues 2024 Adidas Authentic NHL Stadium Series jerseys are expected to arrive on/around March 15.”
The New Jersey Devils have released a primarily red jersey with black accents. This was a very exciting moment for the Devil community, as the last stadium jersey they released was the green and red throwback, while other teams had new and modern jerseys. The Devils have also recently released the “Jersey jersey,” another modern take. Before the departure of general manager Lou Lamoriello, the team usually took the safe route instead of stepping outside of the box, but Lamoriello has since moved to manage the New York Islanders. The Devils logo on this jersey is missing the traditional circle behind it, the first time that the logo has been seen on its own. They have released many pictures of these jerseys, including them being held by the Jonas Brothers, but the presale has not yet been released. Excited as this is the first time the event has been held in their state, fans are hoping that they will be able to wear their jerseys to the game
The New York Rangers jerseys have red and blue accents on a white background. Reimagining the classic, the normal word of “rangers” has been changed to the initials “NYR” in order to be shown bigger while using the same font and drop shadow effect. These letters are still shown in the stairstep orientation, a staple of the team. The red and blue stripes on the sleeves are the same as those on their road jerseys, just at a bigger scale to accommodate the bigger size of the stadium. These jerseys, once again, are not guaranteed to arrive in time for the game, with some having a shipping estimate of mid-March, almost a month post-play. Additionally, these jerseys are priced at a higher rate than the other teams, and fans are outraged because the Stadium Series patch is not a part of the jersey itself, needing to be purchased and applied separately if desired.
The New York Islanders have gotten the most backlash on their new jersey. They are navy blue, with a very large orange stripe across the middle. This color-blocking effect is used as an homage to the plimsoll line on hulls of ships. The word “Isles” is printed across this orange strip, a nickname given to the team by their large fanbase. According to the NYI Instagram, “ISLES is set in the center of the jersey to showcase the pride and passion for the team that our fans bring to every Islanders game.” These jerseys got the most negative responses by far, being extremely unpopular with the fanbase. Once again, many of these jerseys are not set to ship until Mar. 15, leaving fans jerseyless and disappointed for the big game.
The Stadium Series jersey release garnered a wide range of opinions. Fans are widely disappointed by shipping dates and high prices, but excited by the upcoming games. Fans will be flocking to MetLife stadium in mid February, but many won’t be wearing these new jersey designs. The only way that fans will be able to get them on time is to visit the NHL store in New York City or the respective team stores, where they are in very short supply.