UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State, apparently, is ready for hockey.
University ticket-sellers were overwhelmed Tuesday when nearly 1,000 students lined up for the first crack at tickets for Penn State’s men’s inaugural hockey season in Pegula Ice Arena.
It was not quite what officials were expecting when they announced about 1,000 student tickets would go on sale at 10 a.m.
The line for those coveted seats snaked through the HUB-Robeson Center and out onto the sidewalk. One student had been camping out since 10 p.m. Monday night.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement for hockey,” said Jeff Nelson, assistant athletic director for communications.
Nelson said about 150 orders had been processed Tuesday before the rest of the students in line were sent home. Those students were given a number and will receive emails Wednesday offering them the first chance at the remaining tickets.
“There were about 950 students in line,” Nelson said, more than expected. In an effort to move the line along and get students to class, another priority system was implemented.
The Penn State men host their first home game Oct. 11 against Army in the new $90 million arena near the corner of Curtin Road and University Drive. The women play their home opener a week later against Union College from Schenectady, N.Y.
“There is a great deal of excitement for both men’s and women’s hockey,” Nelson said.
Nelson said the building received its occupancy permit last week, and coaches have started moving in.
At Pegula, students will sit behind the goal where Penn State will be shooting in the first and third periods.
“I’m most looking forward to seeing our student section and the atmosphere they will create,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said last week. “The fan base at Penn State is second to none and I think it will be incredibly special.”
For $96, students could purchase tickets for 12 of the team’s 18 home games. The package also included games against regional powers UMass-Lowell (Nov. 14-15) and Boston College (Jan. 25), the Big Ten opening series against Minnesota (Jan. 12-13) and conference showdowns with Michigan (Feb. 7-8) and Michigan State (Feb. 14-15).
Six home games were not included in the student package. They will occur during the fall/Thanksgiving break and spring break. Tickets to those games will be available on a single-game basis in the future.
The Nittany Lions return 18 letterwinners, joined by nine newcomers in their first Big Ten campaign.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.