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Pens' Continued Success Propels Pittsburgh's Economy

After seven years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in franchise history. While the Penguins’ Stanley Cup Final appearance can benefit players, coaches and the league economically, local businesses also have a chance to prosper. 

Ron Dick, associate professor of sports marketing at Duquesne University, says businesses are getting in the hockey spirit, whether it’s offering drink specials during games or creating a new sandwich.

“Each home game is like a three hour commercial on how great Pittsburgh is,” Dick says.

Dick says the Penguins organization is among the top ticket sellers in the league.  Because hockey is the least popular of the four major sports (behind football, baseball and basketball), Dick says jacking ticket prices is a way to try and compete.

However, Dick found that the lowest ticket price for Game One of the Final in Pittsburgh were about $300 a pop, still three times as less as the cheapest ticket in San Jose for Game Three.  Why?  Dick says cost of living in the respective cities is a factor.

Since the Penguins have never won the Stanley Cup on home ice, ticket prices have soared for tickets to Games 5 and 7, games which potentially may not even happen.  For these crazed Penguins fans, a potential cup clincher on home ice would be the game experience of a lifetime.

“It is simple economics,” Dick explains. “Everybody and his mother wants to say they were there when the Pens clinched the Stanley Cup for the first time ever in Pittsburgh history.”

Dick says the longer the series goes, the happier league executives become.  In the case of this particular series, it will take the Penguins and Sharks 16 days to complete the best of seven series (assuming seven games are needed). 

“We don’t know who in advance is going to win,” Dick says. “But isn’t that what makes it so great?”

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