Author’s Note: This will be an opinion-based recap of my experience attending the Pittsburgh Penguins game on 4/22/2021 based on how the Penguins organization has adapted to COVID-19. This is more about the penguins’ overall gaming experience than the product on the ice while the penguins cheered the devils 5: 1. I would like to hear from the fans of other penguins about their experience playing this season and take a closer look at my experience Visit my YouTube channel.
Last Thursday I attended my first Pittsburgh Penguins game since 2019. It was also the first major sporting event I participated in since the March 2020 pandemic. I was very skeptical because I’m still healthy in the crisis, but looking back on my experience it was absolutely worth it. I can only hope that the vaccinations continue to run out and that the playoffs are coming up.
The penguins started opening the arena to spectators at the beginning of March and since then have slowly but surely allowed more and more fans to populate the PPG Paints Arena. For the game, I got cheap nosebleed tickets for about $ 60. At the end of the day, all I cared about was going to a game in the first place.
I was curious to see how different things were this season as I’m an avid supporter of not just the team on the ice but the whole organization. Happy to say that for the most part, the penguins did a hell of a job hosting fans. But it’s far from normal.
Pittsburgh Penguins on Twitter: “We salute you, fans. Thank you for always supporting us. https://t.co/oxGIvqRVCH ”/ Twitter
Corona causes chaotic changes
The Pittsburgh Penguins Organization has done everything in its power to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the PPG Paints Arena. Tickets are now scanned from your phone, food ordering is contactless, cash is not accepted in the building and the list goes on.
But there is only so much they can do to prevent the spread.
Taylor Haase on Twitter: “… three people in this picture have photographed their masks on https://t.co/pzMGeGHLG7” / Twitter
The two main red flags I saw in this game came at the end of the game and when I took a trip to the bathroom during recess. In both cases, several people huddled together like cattle to get through places.
The PPG Paints Arena – or any other venue – just isn’t built for COVID-19 regulations. No matter how much social distancing and contactless transactions you have, if you finish the game while everyone is focused on the three main exits, your efforts are almost worthless.
Now, to go to a penguin game, fans will have to make a lot of sacrifices from the way previous games were held. You must order tickets in either a group of two or four people. There are no brochures or even physical tickets to keep as souvenirs. You can’t go to the glass to warm up, and the prices of concessions have continued to rise.
What you get to the game boils down to the game itself and the game on the ice. Fortunately for the penguins, this season has treated us well. But I couldn’t imagine how fans of fighting teams like the Buffalo Sabers could have the motivation to go to games.
Megan Carter on Twitter: “💛🖤 https://t.co/gWeLmoZUJV” / Twitter
Soon back to normal
The light at the end of the tunnel is that things will only get better. The COVID vaccine has arrived in the crowd and society is starting to rebuild. It may take you a while to high-five the random fan next to you, but we’re going in that direction.
With immediate effect, the Pittsburgh Penguins Organization is doing everything possible to ensure that the fans feel safe at the games in the PPG Paints Arena – from the ushers to the security guards to the players on the ice.
The Penguins are currently battling it out for first place in the East Division of the NHL, battling the New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals. The penguins have a good chance of gaining a home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. If they can continue to let fans into the stands it will certainly be an advantage.