Penn State took its talent to the next level this season, and the NCAA is rewarding them. For the 2018 and 2019 seasons, the Nittany Lions will host a regional in the NCAA Tournament in Allentown.
To answer the first question on your mind: the PPL Center put in a bid to host the regionals and Pegula Ice Arena did not, which is why Penn State is hosting on the east side of the state. With the team expected to be a contender for the NCAA Tournament for at least a few years to come, the timing was right for them to make a hosting bid. Allentown is about a three-hour drive from State College, so those postseason games should have something resembling a home atmosphere.
The PPL Center is a perfect venue for the tournament, and is an upgrade from this year’s sites: Providence College’s arena, two ECHL rinks, and a USHL barn. The AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms play in the PPL Center, which opened in 2014 and is as nice of a place as you’ll see at that level. Speaking as someone who lives 20 minutes away and has been to a dozen games there, this is a fantastic move for Penn State and the NCAA.
Also announced today was that the 2022 Women’s Frozen Four will be hosted by Penn State and Pegula -- it’s a while down the road, but also exciting for the developing team.
What do you think of this announcement? Have you been to the PPL Center? Let’s discuss in the comments.