The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena
From ultra-premium experiences to bargains with great views, here are five perfect places to watch the Pens.
photo by dave dicello
You might be fooled into thinking that all the seats in a hockey arena are more or less equal — that, other than trying to lean into the home team’s double-attack end, you’ve got a good view from just about anywhere. To be sure, there probably isn’t a bad seat in the house at PPG Paints Arena; the still-fresh home of the Pittsburgh Penguins has proven to be a comfortable venue for hockey fans and an ample host for touring concerts and events.
No, an indoor arena may not have the variation of a baseball stadium; there are, however, some hidden gems and little secrets that the die-hard Penguins — or Pitt basketball, or Elton John, or WWE, or monster-truck rally — fan should know about. You can get unexpected amenities and interesting vantage points all over PPG Paints Arena; here are five of your best options.
photos by sean collier
Section 207, Row Q, Seat 1
You’ll be able to watch the full sweep of the action from just about anywhere in the arena’s upper level. If you pick a seat in the middle of the alphabet, however, you’ll have a bit of a walk down to your row (and, more importantly, a climb back up when it’s time to find a bathroom). Pick the last row in Sec. 207, however, and you’re a 15-second walk from a bar, concessions and the bathroom; you can slip in and out of your seat as easily as if you were in your living room. The view of the ice is excellent; turn around and look at the concourse behind you, and you’ll also get a striking view of the city skyline through the glass facade.
Section 211, Row A, Seat 1
Okay, so you don’t care about beer or toilet proximity; you want to get a great view, and you don’t want to spend a car payment to get it. Sec. 211 is directly behind the net in the end the Penguins attack twice; from here, you can see the whole play develop, with no one in front of you. It’s a great seat for smart fans. (A word on the upper sections: The first two rows are better, the rest are all the same. There’s not a meaningful difference in experience between, say, Row D and Row M. If you can save some cash by hopping back a few rows, do it.)
Section 109, Row F, Seats 10-11
How about a row to yourself? Being right on the glass is a great way to feel the full impact of the action (and hear choice phrases from coaches and players), but it’s very hard to watch plays develop from that close. You want to be up a couple of rows for the best vantage point — and, if you nab these two seats, you’ll have something of a private island. There’s only two seats in Sec. 109, Row F, and there’s a camera bay directly in front of you (so no one to obstruct your view in front). It’s all the thrill of being close to the action with half the hassle.
Club Loge 19, Row A, Seat 6
This is absolutely the best seat in the house. You’re not likely to ever sit in it, but it’s good to have something to aspire to. The few rows of loge seating just above the 100 level offer access to club amenities, private monitors, high-top chairs and the perfect, center-ice vantage point. They’re sold by the season, like the luxury boxes, but offer a better view (and don’t cost quite as much as the suites). You’re not likely to see these seats popping up on the secondary market, but if you can ask around and find an in, you’ll be thrilled.
Sec. 166, Edge 1
These seats didn’t exist when the place opened; originally, this territory was old-fashioned standing room for those last few ticket buyers. A few seasons in, however, arena staff converted the back of select downstairs sections into, essentially, bar seating — a high-top seat with a small counter. You can peer over the heads of the fans in front of you for a pretty great view of the action, and drift back and forth from the food and drink options nearby with ease. Considering many fans don’t even know these seats exist, you might be able to get a good deal on tickets, too.
Honorable Mention: Suite 66
No cataloguing of the best seats in PPG Paints Arena is complete without acknowledging Suite 66, the ultra-premium room that borders the Penguins’ entrance tunnel. In addition to your up-close encounter with the team as they enter and exit the ice, you’ll get a private bartender, a display of priceless memorabilia, free food and more. The bad news: Remember how I said you’re not likely to score loge seating? You’re just plain not gonna get into Suite 66, unless you know exactly the right people.