First, a little background story. I purchased 3 Winter Classic tickets through the monopolistic broker in September 2007. As many of you will recall, Pens fans had many problems getting the website to load in order to purchase tickets. It was only later that I learned through Pens message boards that a pattern was emerging - buyers looking to purchase a pair of tickets were locked out, while those fans (myself included) searching for 3 tickets were much more successful. I know it sounds a bit wacky, and because of that, I didn't really think much of it.
Fast forward 17 months or so to this 10am morning. I signed into Ticketmaster at 9:45am and located the event via the Pens' website. I started refreshing the Ticketmaster page at 9:59am, at a rate of about once every 20 seconds. Once the sale went live, I did a search for 2 tickets for game one, any price. The search came up empty. So I immediately went to the Find Your Tickets page for game two and did a duplicate search. Again, no dice.
I began to get a sick feeling in my stomach while I repeated the search on game one. Nothing. Back to game two. I got a hit! The two tickets were in section D, which would have been fine with me. I clicked the Continue button to move on to the payment process, and then I couldn't believe my effing eyes - "We're sorry. Ticketmaster cannot complete your request. Hit the Back button and try again." I was hesitant to hit the Back button (you know what's coming, right?), but I didn't really have another choice. As expected, the Back button took me right back to the Find Your Tickets page. I seriously almost started a riot.
I searched for a pair of tickets on each game two more times before remembering what I had read in the message boards. I figured I wouldn't have any trouble finding someone to go with us, so I searched game one for 3 tickets and BOOM! ANOTHER HIT! I didn't really let myself get too excited, but lo and behold, I was able to make my way through the entire payment process without any further difficulty. An added bonus - they're better seats! (Although, that also meant that they were more costly...) The tickets sold "quickly" according to the Pens' website, and I can tell you that the events I have just described all happened in a span of about 7 minutes. But somehow by the grace of the hockey gods and my Irish luck, woodstock, a friend, and I will be taking in game one from section C6, row L. :D
Rest assured I will record the opening video shown on the ice for you again this season. And just for the occasion, here is the one I recorded last year:
A reminder to anyone attending this week's home closer: The Pens will be collecting money for the Pittsburgh Fallen Heroes Fund at Thursday's game to will benefit the families of the three officers that were slain over the weekend. So take an extra $20 to the game and donate. Skip the nachos if you have to - any little bit will help. These officers gave all to protect us; we need to honor their sacrifice by giving a few bucks to help out the ones they've left behind.
They give so much, surely we can spare a couple dollars for their loved ones in return.
Now BRING IT, Bolts!!!