Pittsburgh Penguins Fans Make An Impact In Every Game, Even With Limited Attendance


Michael Naggy

The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers warming up before the game.

Fans are back at PPG Paints Arena to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins with the new Pennsylvania guidelines allowing up to 15% capacity at the arena. I had the opportunity to attend the game on Sunday, March 7 against the New York Rangers. 

As soon as the announcement was made that fans would be allowed to attend games again, the Penguins organization quickly came up with an action plan to get fans back at the game. Masks are required to be worn at all times inside the stadium over your nose and mouth, unless you are actively eating or drinking. Security is very strict, as to keep everybody safe; if you do not keep it over your nose and mouth, security can and will kick you out.

Concessions are very simple. Usually the arena has lots of different food options, like Dairy Queen, Primanti Bros, Burgatory, Emporio, Original Pizza Logs, Highmark Healthy Options, and City StrEATS. Still lots of places around the arena to get food with options like chicken and fries, hot dogs, and other basic sports concession options.

The staff did a great job of keeping everything sanitary, encouraging social distancing, and making sure everybody had their masks on properly. It made me and other fans feel very safe. Alcohol was also limited at the stadium to keep fans safe as well to make it a better experience for younger families as well. Fans were given a specific gate to enter and leave from when they got their tickets. Ushers in between commercial breaks, and before the game and in between periods would make sure that everybody is following all of the guidelines. Areas that fans were touching like rails in aisles, and the handrails of escalators were wiped down constantly. Another rule put in place was that all transactions were with cards only as to not spread germs with the cash, and it also limits contact between employees and fans.

The game itself was still a great experience. The whole arena could get very loud, but also at times during the action of the game it was almost dead silent. Penguins fans are some of the most passionate fans, and they always manage to make an impact on games, home, away, or even with just 15% of the normal capacity. Normally at games there is never any silence, but with the limited attendance there were times where you could hear all the sounds of the game including dialogue from players occasionally, the skates gliding on the ice, players slammed into the boards, shots being blocked by the goalies, and pucks being shot and passed.

Overall it was a great experience. It was safely done, and it just felt like such a relief to be back at a live sporting event.