The Pittsburgh Penguins will welcome 2800 fans to the PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night when the team plays the Philadelphia Flyers. Ordinarily, only 2800 fans would seem like a terrible night, but it will be the first time the Penguins have played a home game with fans since March 2020.
On Monday, PA Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Department of Health granted the Penguins permission to operate at 15% capacity.
“It is a great day for hockey, indeed, and we are very excited for our fans,” said David Morehouse president and CEO of the Penguins. “We are grateful to Governor Wolf, Health Secretary Alison Beam, and their team for their continuous communication and support. We also are thankful for the help and guidance we received from our partners at UPMC for helping us to prepare a detailed plan for a safe re-opening, as well as County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. We are focused on giving our fans the safest and most efficient experience possible inside PPG Paints Arena – where they belong.”
Last week, rumors spread quickly that the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers were preparing for fans as early as March 7.
The PA governor also eased out-of-state travel restrictions on Monday.
From the Pittsburgh Penguins Release:
The Penguins would like to thank season ticket holders for their loyalty to the team during the pandemic. Because of the short notice, the Penguins will make tickets available to Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers on a priority basis to season ticket holders only.
The Penguins have 20 home games remaining this season, including 12 games in the month of March.
The Governor’s decision to open the arena and the continued distribution of vaccines is a sign that Pittsburgh and the state are moving in the right direction regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The Penguins and their arena management operator, ASM Global, have made numerous enhancements for safety and efficiency, including mobile ticketing, mobile ordering and touchless self-checkout scanners for food, beverage, and merchandise.
Penguins season ticket holders will be given priority to purchase tickets to upcoming games with exclusive access to a pre-sale. Detailed information will be sent directly to season ticket holders. Remaining tickets will be made available to the general public for purchase.
Seating will be limited to pods of two and four to allow for social distancing within the capacity restrictions. Fans will be given suggested arrival times and gates to enter based upon the location of their seats.
Fans are reminded of several new policies for Penguins games at PPG Paints Arena.
- Mobile Ticketing… A mobile ticket will need to be displayed on a smartphone to enter the arena.
- Verbal Health Promise… All guests will be asked several questions upon arrival.
- Mandatory Face Masks… All guests over the age of two (2) years will be required to properly wear a face mask at all times inside the arena.
- All Bags are Prohibited… This includes clear bags, purses and camera bags. Exceptions may be made for medical bags, diaper bags and wristlets or wallets (no larger than 8” x 5” x 1”) following inspection.
- Cashless Transactions… Credit and debit cards as well as Apple/Google Pay are accepted.
PPG Paints Arena has implemented new safety measures, including drone disinfecting technology in the arena bowl, autonomous UV floor scrubbers, touchless faucets and flush valves in all restrooms and 200-plus hand sanitizer stations. The arena also meets or exceeds all HVAC guidelines set forth by the NHL and NHLPA in their Return to Play protocols.
Penguins fans can find more information about returning to PPG Paints Arena, here, on the Know Before You Go page of the Penguins website.
Tuesday’s game will mark the first time the Pittsburgh Penguins have been able to welcome fans since a March 8 game against Carolina.