Flyers to play preseason game at PPL Center
The Philadelphia Flyers will once again be playing in their AHL affiliate’s arena. For the fourth straight season, The Phantoms are lending their home ice to the Flyers for an NHL preseason game. The puck will drop Friday, September 21st at 7:05, against the New York Islanders. The PPL Center, located in the heart of Allentown, has treated the Flyers well thus far, the Flyers going 3-0 in the three years that they’ve borrowed it as their home ice. Let’s take a look at three reasons why the building should be completely sold out for the game.
JUST ANNOUNCED: The @NHLFlyers will return to PPL Center for a preseason game against the @NYIslanders on Friday, September 21, at 7:05 p.m. when the @LVPhantoms host the #Flyers in the Valley event for the fourth consecutive year.
— PPL Center (@PPLCenter) June 4, 2018
Great product, better value
Getting to see some of your favorite players is always a good time. Being able to see them for cheap, however, is even better. Tickets for the game go on sale on June 7th at 10:00, and you can snag them from the PPL Center’s website here. Starting at just $18 for groups or $22.50 for single seats, you really can’t go wrong. Even if you’re sitting near the top, there isn’t a bad view in the building.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 22, 2015
I was recently at game four of the Phantom’s playoff series against the Toronto Marlies, and I was in disbelief. Though the Phantoms lost the game 5-0, the experience blew me away. There are several places to buy Phantoms merchandise throughout the PPL Center. The same beers that cost $11-13 in Wells Fargo Center were $6-8, and the food was much more reasonable as well. Though some could argue that you’re seeing a diluted version of the game, the decrease in price makes up for it tenfold. And it certainly makes up for possibly having to pay tolls on I-476N to get there.
Parking was only $6 in a garage just across the street (expect to possibly pay a few extra dollars for an NHL game). Ignore the text from the below tweet, and just look at the map. There is plenty of parking, and it’s never an issue.
— The Morning Call (@mcall) June 12, 2014
PPL Center has something for everyone
Aside from being so easy on the eyes, the PPL Center has a lot going on for it. Regarded as one of the nicest AHL arenas in the league, it also has a certain character to it that gets lost in other stadiums. Built in just 2014, the place feels brand new and is super clean and accessible. The official occupancy states 8,420, however including standing room for a hockey game, they claim over 9,000 fans can watch live. With a Chickie’s and Pete’s located inside the stadium, you still get that Philly-feel from being there. There is also a Tim Horton’s, to help our neighbors to the north feel more comfortable. As you walk around the concourse, you will find another 10+ food and drink concessions, ranging anywhere from burgers to water ice, and pies to mac and cheese.
The arena is extremely easy to navigate. With 22 sections in the lower level and only 11 in the upper level, finding your seats is a cinch. It’s also worth mentioning that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Sitting at the very top of the building, in the last row, feels closer to the ice than anywhere in the second level at the Wells Fargo Center. Because of the size of the PPL Center, the noise levels are impressive. The mix between crowd noise, videos on the big screen, and the lovable mascot “meLVin”, every member of the family will leave with a smile on their face.
MeLVin, new Lehigh Valley Phantoms new mascot, discovered by former Mascot Dax in Dime Bank vault. pic.twitter.com/EeZKbGZWCI
— skraus (@skraus) August 12, 2014
It is also noting that the game lands on a Friday night. There are several things to do before or following the game. With several surrounding bars and restaurants, I’d suggest one of two things. Arrive early to get good parking, if permitted. Then go out for a beer and nice dinner prior to the game. Or after the game, walk to a restaurant to kill some time as the parking garages empty. For those of you of drinking age, I’d highly recommend checking out Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works just a half block away. Great atmosphere, fantastic beer, and absolutely give their chicken cheese steak a try. One of the best I’ve had!
The main reason to go, the players
Some people will disagree with this, and that’s okay. But to me, the most fun part is that it’s usually a split-squad game. Half of the roster plays at home against half of the Islanders, The other half goes to New York to face the Islander’s other half. And the rest of the lines are filled with prospects. For the Flyers organization, this is a business move. They’ll wait until a certain number of tickets are sold to the game, before releasing that it will be a split-squad game. And though some people find this irritating, I think that it’s more of a reason to go.
For the last several seasons, we’ve watched Flyers GM Ron Hextall work his magic in the draft. Finding players late who are expected to emerge as break-out NHL players in the near future. These split-squad games give those players a chance to shine. In a packed house, playing with developed NHL talent, they can really showcase their skills. And for guys such as Michael Vecchione, Nicolas Aube-Kubel or Danick Martel, this game could be seen as a try-out for the big show. However, we could also be lucky enough to see stars such as Morgan Frost or Carter Hart. Flyers fans have been waiting patiently for a long time to see that happen.
Carter Hart-Philadelphia Flyers pic.twitter.com/0mQ3Qnyspl
— Short Goalies (@ShortStackGoal) May 31, 2018
With this game taking place only weeks before the regular season starts, the hype will be at an all-time high for the Flyers 2018-2019 season. The PPL Center is a great venue, so taking any chance to see the Flyers play there is a good move.
For more information, visit @PSN_Philly
Featured image: twg1942 via Flickr