Leaving the Penguins training camp at Consol Energy Center today, I realized that Pittsburgh is in fact a hockey town. The parking lots were full, the streets were flooded with people in Pens gear and the energy was high.
I was shocked to see so many fans in attendance at a hockey practice on a Monday afternoon.
LeeAnn Rhodes, an attorney whose office overlooks Consol, told me she came over to watch the training camp during her lunchbreak. "I've been deprived of hockey long enough this season and peeking out of my office window, Consol was calling my name." Ms. Rhodes kept checking her watch and when her lunchbreak finally ended she left with a smile. "It's finally hockey season," she said.
A dietician at Forbes hospital in Monroeville, Jim Teresi, had the day off work and knew instantly he would be coming downtown to get a peek at the Penguins practice. His tradition before going to a Penguins game is to grab a slice and a beer at Pizza Milano. "I decided to keep that tradition going today because this season has been cut so short and I've really missed it." Jim did not expect to be sitting at Consol at all this season. "With the Steelers season over, I figured it was going to be a long, cold winter in the 'burgh without my favorite sports. I'm so pumped the lockout ended," he said.
Tuesday and Friday of this week the training camp is free to the public at 11am. Wednesday at 7pm will be a scrimmage against the Black & Gold. Doors open at 6pm through the Trib Total Media gate. Select concession items and beer will be on sale inside Consol.

Posted in Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Steelers

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