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Peduto says Penguins playoff series will be economic boon

| Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 2:55 p.m.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto gave his tickets to Wednesday night's Penguins playoff game to a lucky fan outside the Consol Energy Center.

The mayor initially told the media he wanted to sell his seats because he had been invited to be the guest of another ticket-holder for Game One against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He wouldn't identify his benefactor, but said his regular seats probably have a better view than where he'll be sitting. He said he wanted to sell them at face value at $155 per ticket.

“I don't want to eat $310, so I'm hoping that someone out there will let me know if they want to buy them,” Peduto told reporters during a visit to the Hill District earlier in the day.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the mayor to change his mind and give the tickets to a fan who was celebrating a birthday. The fan was not identified and the mayor's spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Peduto, 49, has been a hockey fan since growing up in Scott, where several of his neighbors were Penguins players. He has been playing since 1972 in scholastic and intramural leagues and still plays when he can find time.

He wears No. 44 in honor of former Penguins player Rob Brown.

Peduto said he has had season tickets since the 1970s and goes with a group of seven friends from his school days. He said the playoffs are more than just an economic generator for the city.

Personally, he said, it means he won't have to shave his beard anytime in the near future. The mayor began growing a playoff beard and won't shave until the Penguins lose or win the Stanley Cup.

He predicts the Penguins will win the first best-of-seven series in six games.

“Beyond that it's our name in the papers worldwide on a daily basis. It's pride in knowing that we have the best team in the league, best team in the world and some of the greatest talent,” he said. “It's just a lot of fun.”

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

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