BOSTON (CBS/AP) — “Old Town Road” is coming to the Stanley Cup Final.
Lil Nas X will perform the top song in the world Monday in Boston as part of the pregame festivities before the series between the Bruins and St. Louis Blues gets underway. The NHL will announce later Friday Lil Nas X and country singer Chase Rice as the artists who will play at Boston’s City Hall Plaza before Game 1.
“The place is going to go berserk, I’m pretty sure,” NHL chief content officer and executive vice president Steve Mayer said. “Everybody knows the song. The song is played in all our arenas, and the reaction to the song has been just incredible.”
“Old Town Road” has spent seven weeks as the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Mayer said the artist’s representatives reached out several months ago to promote the song for in-arena use, which led to the league getting him for the final.
Rice, whose song “Eyes On You” peaked at No. 3 on the country music chart, will open the musical act part of the show around 6 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.
A longtime hockey fan, Rice performed during player introductions at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Tampa last year. Mayer said Lil Nas X’s manager is a 25-year New York Rangers season ticket holder and that the rapper will wear a Bruins jersey on stage and attend the game.
“Just to have him in the building for a Stanley Cup Final, I think he’ll fall in love,” Mayer said. “If you’re going to see your first hockey game, that’s a pretty good game to go to.”
Tickets are not required for the event, for which doors will open at 4:30 p.m., with the musical performances beginning at 6 p.m. Fans will be allowed to watch the game on video screens when the puck drops shortly after 8 p.m.
Food and beverages — including wine and beer — will be offered for sale, along with Bruins merchandise.
Bags, backpacks, large purses, coolers, chairs, umbrellas and weapons will be prohibited from the event.
When the series shifts to St. Louis for Game 3 on June 1, Mayer said, the NHL is planning an outdoor sing-along of Laura Branigan’s “Gloria,” which has become the Blues’ victory song. St. Louis native and former contestant on “The Voice” Kennedy Holmes will lead it at 5:49 p.m. — a time specially picked because it’s the Blues’ first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 49 years.
Grammy Award-winning R&B artist Gary Clark Jr. is set to be among the performers in St. Louis, with other NHL announcements to come. Mayer said five blocks of Market Street between the arena at the Gateway Arch will be closed and local officials estimate a crowd of at least 20,000 before the first Cup Final game in the city since 1970.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Associated Press writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.)