Since quite a few years, I try to see a few matches of the Pittsburgh Penguins per season. My March 2023 trip, however, was special, as I had a debut. I visited the Pens’ farm team in the AHL, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. They play at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in WIlkes-Barre, which is some three hours drive away from Steel City. The opponent of the day made it even more special: the Lehigh Valley Phantoms from Allentown, the farm team of Pittsburgh’s rivals, Philadelphia. Here is my review.
Mohegan Sun Arena – Location & Traffic
The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza is located in Wilkes-Barre, right at the I-81 Interstate. The area is rather commercial, featuring some stores like a Target, a Marshalls and similar locations. There are also some restaurants and hotels in rather close neighborhood. I stayed at the Quality Inn Arena, which was a some five minute drive away.
You typically drive to the arena. It comes with a very large parking lot. For WBS Penguins matches, parking is free, other events like concerts typically request a parking fee. You could also use public buses. Two lines, 18 and 52, stop at the Mohega Sun Arena bus stop – but I guess this is a rather “exotic” commute from a US-American perspective.
Mohegan Sun Arena – Arena & Ticket Situation
For ice hockey matches, the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza has a capacity of 8,050 spectators. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins might sell it our in play-off times, but if you book in advance, getting a ticket should be rather easy. I had seats located close to the center line and despite the match came with a rivalry, ticket prices were roughly 40 USD. International guests need to use will call, which worked very smoothly. The arena is rather U-shaped than fully oval.
I would not rate the Wilkes-Barre place to be overwhelmingly modern, but it gets its job done. The central seats were very comfortable.
Mohegan Sun Arena – Atmosphere
The atmosphere in Wilkes-Barre was limited. You feel a strong identification with the team among the locals, but overall, there is not too much of a push by the crowds towards a Penguins win. Vice versa, the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, which is also nice if you are visiting. Iceburgh’s somehow-little-brother Tux is the mascot of the team and very popular, especially among young visitors.
Mohegan Sun Arena – Food & Shopping
The food situation at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Pennsylvania is good one. The selection is a nice one, the prices are also much more affordable than in some NHL places. I liked the quality of the chicken tenders I tried. However, some of the booths were closed. Another nice place to hang out are the pub-alike bars. On the shopping side, the arena hosts a nice WBS Penguins store in the corner of the arena.
WBS Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena – My View
I liked my first visit at the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. Somehow, the place is charming, even though you just cannot deny that the arena is a bit too old and the people are a bit too lazy to support their team. Some screens in the aisle would help a lot, especially during intermission. I don’t feel that regarding the atmosphere of home matches, the WBS Penguins have reached their full potential.
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