PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The eyes of the college sports world are on Pittsburgh as the Frozen Four got underway Thursday at CONSOL Energy Center.
It’s the best of college hockey, and it means big bucks for the city and businesses near the arena.
Uptown is accustomed to big crowds, the fanfare and the fans. But this time, they’re not rooting on the Penguins. It’s collegiate action on the ice this week at CONSOL Energy Center.
Most of the fans are seeing the City of Pittsburgh for the very first time.
“This city is absolutely beautiful. We love it,” said Sarah Kovaleski, a Yale fan. “My family is a huge hockey family – growing up playing hockey, my brothers have played their whole lives.”
“It’s good,” added Kaitlyn Donovan, a fan of UMass-Lowell. “It reminds me of Lowell actually, a little bit. So, I feel kind of at home.”
There are local connections. Mount Lebanon’s Jesse Root plays for Yale, which won the first game Thursday in overtime.
“Ecstatic. We’re going to be here through Saturday,” said Joe Killian, a the father of a Yale player. “Can’t wait to get outside and see some of the stuff that’s out in the parking lot.”
There are also local supporters who want to experience the hockey stronghold in Pittsburgh. And many of the locals are hosting the out-of-town guests.
“When we found out we were in a national championship here, people came from all over the country,” said Mike Tomano, a Yale fan from Sewickley.
“They know the history of Pittsburgh; we’ve had an unbelievable buzz going for almost two weeks now and it’s one of the great cities in America,” said David Harrington, a Yale alumnus. “We’re glad to be here.”