PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Tickets are on sale for the first round of the NHL playoffs.
The Pens host the New York Islanders for game number one. While seating capacity will be limited to 25 percent, the state will allow a 50 percent capacity beginning Monday.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Cooldown Coming With Fall Set To Arrive
It’s not just the Pens who are excited. Local businesses are ecstatic for the extra business.
Playoff hockey is exciting enough. But when you’re coming out of a pandemic and you’ve lost untold amounts of money, the businesses who benefit from hockey are ecstatic.
Pizza Bosa sits in the shadows of PPG Paints Arena. The pandemic meant their business was off 70 percent last year. Seven employees were laid off and the owner dipped into his savings. But with increased attendance for Pens playoffs, it’s going to make a big difference.
“Fifty percent means 10,000 people. We’re gonna have a lot of people here. We’re gonna have a lot of new employees. I’m very excited, I can’t wait,” said Pizza Bosa’s Nazim Islamov.
Pizza Bosa is getting ready to sell a lot of pizza like they did two years ago, pre-pandemic. And they’re calling their laid-off employees back to work.READ MORE: Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine Works In Kids Ages 5 To 11
“I called to them this morning. I send them a message. They’re excited. They can’t wait,” Islamov said.
You can’t go to a playoff game without a new jersey. Yinzers in the Burgh is awaiting an onslaught of Pens fans.
“The addition of more fans going to the game help us tremendously. The fans are excited because they can actually go to a game. And it’s been a while,” said Yinzers’ Jim Coen.
Of course, it won’t be quite the same as it was before COVID. Because thousands more fans used to crowd outside the arena. No outside gatherings this time.
“People forget, we also had the outside fans. When we had the big jumbotron outside, it was like having three or four times more fans,” said Coen.MORE NEWS: Study: Men Prefer Virtual Visits For Doctor's Appointments
It may be fewer fans, but half a loaf of bread is better than no bread at all. Not only that, but there’s also some excitement that this Pens team could go far beyond round one.