SEATTLE — A local teen will be performing the national anthem at the upcoming 2024 NHL Winter Classic at T-Mobile Park on New Year's Day.}
Nikhil Bagga, 14, has been tapped as the performer for the hockey league's first outdoor game in Seattle. Bagga has performed at Mariners and Kraken games before and has performed on the same bill as iconic Seattle musicians like Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews.
It will be Bagga's fifth performance at T-Mobile Park. Originally born in Toronto, Bagga now lives in Seattle and has been brought in to perform at other local events like the Big Table Benefit and Champions for Change at Climate Pledge Arena.
Bagga will not be the only notable Seattle musician performing at the Winter Classic to kick off the 2024 calendar year. Seattle band Heart will perform during the first intermission from the field. Rapper Sir-Mix-A-Lot will also be on hand for a performance, according to the NHL.
What is the NHL Winter Classic?
The NHL hosts an annual outdoor hockey game on New Year's Day that generally features two of the league's strongest teams facing off in an uncovered venue. Some of the recent venues include other baseball stadiums like Target Field in Minneapolis and Fenway Park in Boston, as well as football facilities like the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana.
The Kraken will be taking on the Vegas Golden Knights, who won the Stanley Cup title in 2023. The puck will drop at noon PT on the makeshift ice surface being constructed inside the home of the Mariners.