PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Like the Steelers and Pirates, fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins travel well.
Well, fans heading on the road to watch the Penguins take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in enemy territory may run into a problem.
According to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Penguins fans will not be allowed to wear black and gold in certain areas of the Amalie Arena. Specifically, black and gold gear will be banned in the first two rows around the glass. The ban is also in effect for club sections.
There’s even a disclaimer posted on Ticketmaster’s website that reads:
“Chase Club and Lexus Lounge ticket holders: Please note that for all 2016 NHL Playoff Games at Amalie Arena, only Tampa Bay Lightning-branded team apparel (or neutral apparel) will be permitted in these clubs and in the adjoining seating areas. Fans wearing visiting team-branded apparel will be asked to remove such apparel while in these areas.”
“It’s ridiculous,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “Hockey fans will wear their colors and they’ll travel to be wherever their teams play, so we have no problem having Tampa Bay fans here, both of them… but if they want to put that rule upon Pens fans, I guess it will just have to be all around the arena.”
So, what happens to Penguins fans who arrive to the arena sporting black and gold in those sections?
According to the Lightning’s official website, “Fans/guests/patrons who have any Restricted Apparel on their person (each, an “Impacted Ticket Holder”) shall have 4 options: (i) check the Restricted Apparel with a member of the Amalie Arena ‘Guests Services’ staff (the “Check Option”); (ii) obtain an Arena re-entry pass from an Amalie Arena ‘Guest Services’ staff member so that the Restricted Apparel can be placed in a vehicle, hotel room, etc. (the “Re-Entry Option”); (iii) have Club ticket(s) relocated to an alternate section of the Arena wherein the Playoff Policy is not in effect (the “Relocation Option”); or (iv) if the Impacted Ticket Holder purchased their Club ticket(s) directly from TBA or Lightning Hockey LP, request a refund of the amount paid for such tickets (the “Refund Option”).”
Fans who elect to check their gear or re-enter the building will be given a plain black or blue T-shirt to wear in the restricted areas.
In all, about 10 percent of the seats in the building are affected by the policy.
Penguins’ fans don’t think the policy is fair at all.
“If you’re going to ban people from seats, why even let them in the arena?” said Jeff Banderinko, a Pens fan from Bethel Park.
“As long as you have clothes on you should be able to wear whatever you want, as long as you aren’t naked,” said John Cohen, another Pens fan.
A similar policy was put in place last year and came to light during the Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks. However, they took it to another level by not allowing anyone outside of the state of Florida to purchase seats. That part of the policy has since been dropped.
Game 3 of the series will be played Wednesday night.