A Penguins Draft Party, free public skating on a synthetic ice rink and a special red-carpet entrance by the top prospects will highlight fan activities when the 2012 NHL Draft comes to Pittsburgh and CONSOL Energy Center on Friday.
The Draft Party, presented by 84 Lumber and FedEx Ground, will be held in the South Parking Lot (across Centre Avenue from CONSOL Energy Center) from 4:00-10:30 p.m. Friday. The party will feature barbecue and other food, a beer garden, interactive games, tents with hi-top tables and a big screen. Music will be provided by the band Lovebettie, and the event will be hosted by Abby from 105.9 The X.
The Penguins also will erect a synthetic ice rink in the plaza outside the American Eagle Gate, near the corner of Fifth Avenue and Washington Place. Skating is free, and 200 pairs of free rental skates will be available (because the ice is synthetic, fans are asked NOT to bring their own skates). The public skating sessions will be held from 12 noon-5:30 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m-6 p.m. on Saturday.
Pittsburgh youth hockey players will play a game on the synthetic rink from 5:45-6:45 p.m. on Friday, leading up to the draft.
The top prospects will walk the red carpet to enter the arena at the Trib Total Media gate at 6:15 p.m. on Friday.
The first round of the draft will be held Friday, starting at 7 p.m. Rounds 2-7 will be held Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. All tickets have been distributed.
Live radio coverage of the draft Friday night will be provided by ESPN 970 and Penguins 24/7 radio, with Steve Mears and Phil Bourque providing news and insight.