RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh is ready to be in the national sports spotlight this weekend as the Carolina Hurricanes take on the Washington Capitals outside at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Beyond a more than $12 million expected economic impact to the area, organizers and NC State’s athletic director said the weekend gives priceless exposure for the city.

“This is a chance for us to have people that otherwise would never be here,” NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan said. “That wouldn’t know about NC State as well as they will, wouldn’t know about Carter-Finley, wouldn’t know about Raleigh and just, a great opportunity for us to bring something new, different and exciting to the area.”

“Show it off not only to those who are in the stadium but those two are watching, not only, remember in the U.S., but around the world. This is a global game,” NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer said.

Jennifer Martin, Shop Local Raleigh Executive Director and organizer of Friday’s Canes Fan Fest, said the free downtown event ahead of the game is for everyone, whether they are hockey fans or not.

“It is just a next level event here that we are so excited to produce of something that we have never done of this caliber,” Martin said. “We want the NHL to see what Raleigh can do, not just at a stadium, but also in a place such as downtown and how we can just activate and electrify this community with one event.”

Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin spoke about the significance of the Stadium Series in Raleigh.

“Raleigh has been fortunate to host the NHL Draft, the NHL All Star Game and two Stanley Cup finals — winning it all in 2006. The Stadium Series continues the tradition and will put us on the national stage, showcasing our region and its assets,” said Baldwin. “When I worked for the Carolina Hurricanes during the first Stanley Cup run, I saw first hand the media attention we received throughout the world. It’s a game changer. And great preparation for when we host the World University Games in 2029.”

The fan fest kicks off Friday on Fayetteville Street at 11 a.m. and runs through 9 p.m. There will be musical performances, food trucks, a Ferris wheel, fireworks and a drone show.