Winter Classic and Alumni Game, Here I Come!

Winter Classic tickets? Check.

Alumni Game tickets? Check.

All that’s left to complete the hockey New Year’s trifecta is tickets to the Wilks-Barre/Hershey game at Consol on December 30th. Still pondering that, although I should probably just go ahead and do it already.

For now, I’m basking in the glow of being able to watch Mario skate again and being at the Winter Classic.

My sister said that I have had “lucky Ticketmaster fingers” lately, and it’s true. I’m not usually a “lucky” person in general – I don’t win contests or anything like that, but for some reason the Ticketmaster gods have been on my side the last couple of months. It started with a successful attempt to get U2 tickets when they went on sale (and good seats at that!).

Now I wasn’t so lucky in my attempt to win the NHL lottery for tickets to the Winter Classic, so I have spent the better part of 6 weeks trolling ticket sites (mostly StubHub) and then staring at my budget trying to figure out how the heck to get myself to the Winter Classic. I was bound and determined, but I was losing optimism. Then, on December 1st I was sitting at my computer working when an email popped up from “NHL Winter Classic” (I had signed up for email updates when I entered the lottery) and the subject line was “Additional tickets released!”. My fingers have never moved so fast. I immediately clicked the “Buy Tickets” link and when I got to the Ticketmaster page I immediately selected Best Available/Any Price figuring that was my best shot. It said no seats available. Crap. Could the little bit of seats that were released been gone already? I tried again. Same thing. So I started working my way through each price level, trying each one twice, and finally on my 5th or 6th try, two tickets popped up. End zone seats, but who cares. I’ll be at the Winter Classic and I paid face value, not crazy markups. SCORE.

Then the Alumni Game was announced. And I’m going to be completely honest. My excitement level might be just as high for this as the Winter Classic. I grew up going to Pens games and watching them on TV. Seeing Mario skate again? Magical. And aside from Lemieux, names like Errey, Bourque, Brown, Trottier, Coffey, Caufield, Tocchet, Loney, Taglianetti and Stevens (among others) were all household names. I grew up on them like kids today are growing up on Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Letang, and others. So the opportunity to see them all skate together again and pay homage to the organization? I absolutely needed to be there. Que Ticketmaster again…

For reasons I will never, ever understand, the NHL (who is in charge of the Alumni game) set a ticket limit of 10,000 for this game. Heinz Field holds more than six times that amount and I guarantee they could sell it out, and do so charging twice as much (the ticket price for the Alumni Game is $25). But, whatevs. My plan was to refresh repeatedly starting at 9:58am on Friday in hopes that I would be lucky enough to get tickets. And that’s exactly what I did. The “purchase” page didn’t even come up until around 10:04 or 10:05. When it did I selected 2 and then the old “best available/any price” and crossed my fingers… And two tickets came up! I couldn’t believe it. Again, fast fingers with that Ticketmaster countdown clock in the corner haunting me. I’m always worried I’ll do something wrong or the validation won’t work. But, it did. Order complete! Lucky indeed.

I am going to be in hockey heaven come January 2nd (or maybe a hockey coma? or have hypothermia?). I couldn’t be more excited.

(It should also be noted that trying to get tickets on Ticketmaster when a limited number is on sale could quite possibly result in death. The shaking and heart pounding is insane.)

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