Per Pittsburgh Penguins Press release: Single-game tickets for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2017-18 regular season at PPG Paints Arena went on sale today at 10 a.m. Approximately 2,000 tickets will be available for each game. Tickets will be available for sale online at ticketmaster.com.
The Penguins will begin defense of the franchise’s fifth Stanley Cup on Wednesday, October 4 against the St. Louis Blues. Opening night will also feature the Penguins Stanley Cup banner raising. Marc-Andre Fleury will return to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, February 6.
But how much will fans really, really, truly care?
The “mission accomplished” sentiment was first expressed to me on Twitter during the debate about the third center. A fourth cup in the Crosby-Malkin era would be “gravy,” said one Tweeter. Then another. And another expressed the same.
Before long, I was left with the distinct impression that many Penguins fans will cheer when the Penguins do well and do little more than shrug when they do not; in the regular season and in the real season, which begins in April.
Yes, many tweeters expressed a fulfilled satisfaction with the Penguins. Even a first round flame out would be met with smiles and stories of Justin Schultz drinking his way down the Boulevard of the Allies and Olli Maatta sleeping it off. Or, “remember last year, when Kessel filled the Cup with hot dogs?”
As long as the Pens don’t lose to the Capitals or Flyers in the playoffs, anyway.
But How Much Will You Care?
The “arrive late and leave early” crowd has grown over the past couple years. Like a small snowball, it gained steam and became an avalanche some nights.
In the ascendancy of each Penguins Stanley Cup era (1988-1991 and 2006-2009), departing fans were uncommon. Noise levels were clearly louder than the period of descendency which followed the Cup wins.
It’s human nature, I’m told. The PPG Arena was not always at capacity, last year, even if all tickets were sold. It will be an interesting sociological experiment this season.
Will the fans who have been priced out, excluded by an inability to obtain the “hot ticket” turn the tide as the satisfied fans find other things to do? Are the excluded fans also satisfied?
As someone who believes Pittsburgh will become the next great year-round hockey market, like Toronto and Montreal, I’m rooting for a deep hockey knowledge to take permanent root in this town. I’m rooting for Penguins games to become a hockey-loving party every night (not a party-loving party with overhyped musical acts who insult the game of hockey and its best players…)
And most importantly, I’m hoping many of you watch Pittsburgh Hockey Now on the CW, Saturday mornings at 11:30 am. I’ll announce my new co-host later this week…