PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Tickets for the first round of the NHL playoffs are available.
The pens house the New York Islanders for the first game. While the seating capacity will be limited to 25 percent, the state will allow a capacity of 50 percent from Monday.
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It’s not just the pens that get excited. Local businesses are excited about the additional business.
Playoff hockey is exciting enough. But when you come out of a pandemic and have lost countless amounts of money, the companies that benefit from hockey are delighted.
Pizza Bosa sits in the shadow of the PPG Paints Arena. The pandemic meant their business had declined 70 percent over the past year. Seven employees were laid off and the owner plunged into his savings. But as participation in Pen’s playoffs increases, it will make a world of difference.
“Fifty percent means 10,000 people. We will have a lot of people here. We will have a lot of new employees. I’m very excited, I can’t wait, ”said Nazim Islamov from Pizza Bosa.
Pizza Bosa is preparing to sell a ton of pizza like they did two years ago before the pandemic. And they call their laid-off employees back to work.
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“I called her this morning. I am sending you a message. You are excited. You can’t wait, ”said Islamov.
You can’t go to a playoff game without a new jersey. Yinzers in the Burgh is waiting for a rush of Pens fans.
“Adding more fans to the game helps us a lot. The fans are thrilled because they can actually go to a game. And it’s been a while, “said Jim Coen of Yinzers.
Of course, it won’t be quite the same as it was before COVID. Because thousands more fans crowded outside the arena. No outside gatherings this time.
“People forget, we also had the outside fans. When we got the big jumbotron out, it was like we had three or four times more fans, ”said Coen.
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There may be fewer fans, but half a loaf is better than no bread at all. Not only that, there is some excitement that this Pens team could go well beyond the first round.