Jackets Fans Wait For ‘Last-Minute’ Tickets

Blue Jackets fans arrived at Nationwide Arena at 6 a.m. for last-minute tickets for the third game in the first round of the playoff series. Some fans in line played cards, listened to music or read to pass the time.(Photo: Mandie Trimble, 89.7 NPR News Reporter)
Blue Jackets fans arrived at Nationwide Arena at 6 a.m. for last-minute tickets for the third game in the first round of the playoff series. Some fans in line played cards, listened to music or read to pass the time.(Photo: Mandie Trimble, 89.7 NPR News Reporter)

The Blue Jackets host Pittsburgh, Monday, at Nationwide Arena in game three of the first round play-off series. Die-hard fans began to line up at the arena shortly before 6 a.m. for last-minute tickets that go on-sale at 5 o’clock.

David DiAngelis is about sixth in line for tickets. He shuffles cards at a small folding table with four other men sitting in line. They’re playing cards and checkers to pass the time.

DiAngelis said he thinks the Blue Jackets have the momentum, coming off a win over the weekend, to bring home a “W.”

“I expect it to be a really, really hard fought game,” he said. “I think we’ll come out at least a goal or two ahead, like 3-2. I think it’s going to be hard defense. It’s going to be a lot of hits.”

Much further down the line, a Pittsburgh fan disagreed. Ryan Cieply, of Columbus, wore the lone Penguins T-shirt among his friends.

“I’m thinking [the final score] is going to be 3-2. Two minutes left in the period we’re going to score the winner, 3-2,” Cieply laughed as his friends heckled him, all in good fun.

Jackets fan Jami Gleisinger sat in line in a folding chair. She took the day off work to get the last-minute seats. Gleisinger arrived at 9 a.m. And like other Jackets fans, she’s pumped for the game.

“It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be electric in there,” Gleisinger said. “It really is. I think we’re going to take this one. We’re home. We won game two in double overtime. I think we got this.”

The game begins at 7 p.m. This is first time in five years playoff hockey returns to Columbus.

The Jackets tied the series at one game apiece with a double-overtime victory in Pittsburgh Saturday.

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