Students may be forced to make a decision this Saturday: whether to hop on a bus to Pittsburgh decked out in Quinnipiac ice hockey gear or to crowd into the TD Bank Sports Center to jam out to B.o.B and Wallpaper.
If the men’s ice hockey team beats St. Cloud State in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals on Thursday night, the Bobcats will play in the championship game on Saturday, April 13, the same day as Student Programming Board’s annual Wake the Giant spring concert featuring B.o.B and Wallpaper.
More than 200 students bought tickets to the hockey game, which sold out Thursday morning within 20 minutes, Executive Director of the TD Bank Sports Center Eric Grgurich said. Students started to line up to buy tickets three hours before they went on sale, he said. The tickets, which allow students to go to both Thursday and Saturday’s games, were priced at $50 for students and $200 for faculty, staff and adults.
According to Grgurich, the university will provide four to five free buses for students to Pittsburgh where the games will be played. The bus will leave from the TD Bank Sports Center on Thursday at 5 a.m. and will depart 30 minutes after the semifinal ends.
“It’s an eight-hour bus ride so I didn’t really know what to expect as far as what the student turnout would be,” Grgurich said. “It was pretty great to see that [the students] had so much support for the program. I was thinking that maybe 50 students would go or so, maybe we’d still have one bus, but that four or five buses is amazing.”
Tickets are still available for the spring concert, Assistant Director of Student Center and Campus Life Stephen Pagios said. More than 600 tickets have been sold and the TD Bank Sports Center can hold 2,500 people.
It has been a few years since the spring concert has sold out, but Pagios believes that the championship game could cause fewer students to go to the concert.
“I think it’s definitely a chance,” he said. “I think there are those people that are diehard B.o.B [and] Wallpaper fans that will be going regardless and I think there are those people that are diehard want-to-watch-a-hockey-game and they’ll be watching that game regardless.”
The championship hockey game was not on SPB’s mind when the group began planning for the spring concert in early fall.
“It wasn’t even on our radar yet,” Pagios said. “Usually it is something we never have to worry about. We try to do our spring concerts outside season so usually we are not impacted by this, but luckily our team is so good this year that it is a good problem to have.”
Freshman Seth Packman is among the students traveling to Pittsburgh to watch the Bobcats fight for the championship.
“I just really like supporting the hockey team,” he said. “Hockey is my thing … B.o.B is an artist and [attending the game] is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Freshmen Emily Kelly considered going to the hockey game, but decided not to give up her ticket to the spring concert.
“It is a hard choice,” she said. “[My friends and I] were excited because we got the floor tickets and we think it is going to be a fun show. We’ve been to hockey games before.”
Junior Nico Natale wishes he could go to the hockey game, but chose to go to the concert instead because the game is so far away.
“If [the game] was closer or if it were here for a fact I would be going,” he said. “[Students] probably more want to go to the game, but they probably will be going to the concert.”
Reaching the Frozen Four is a huge accomplishment, Grgurich said, which may be increasing the excitement for the hockey game over the concert.
“I think this game is a little different because of the implications to it,” he said. “It is a once in a blue moon type of event for us. That might make it a little more prestigious or special ticket to get.”
Pagios understands that choosing between attending the concert and watching the hockey game is difficult for students.
“I think people love both of them,” he said. “If they could they would separate themselves to be able to do both at the same time, but clearly that is not a possibility.”