PPL Center to host NCAA ice hockey regionals – Allentown Morning Call
ALLENTOWN — PPL Center, home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, has already hosted a number of big-name concerts and high-profile events, like the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic.
Now they can add an NCAA Tournament to the list.
The downtown Allentown arena, which has a standing-room capacity of over 9,000, will host the 2018 and 2019 NCAA Men’s Hockey Midwest Regionals with Penn State University serving as the host institution. The 2018 Regionals will be held the weekend of March 23-25 and the 2019 Regionals will take place March 29-31.
The exact dates for the Regionals will be announced at a later time.
“The arena was designed to attract major events to the Lehigh Valley and it continues to live up to its reputation,” Phantoms co-owner Rob Brooks said in a news release from PPL Center. “We are thrilled to partner with Penn State to host the 2018 and 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Regionals at PPL Center. We look forward to building a long-lasting relationship with the NCAA and continuing to grow the sport of hockey in the Lehigh Valley.”
Four NCAA teams will take place in the Regional each year with next year’s winner advancing to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn. and the 2019 winner moving on to the Frozen Four in Buffalo, N.Y.
NCAA men’s hockey regionals are held in off-campus facilities but Penn State is still excited to serve as the host institution for the Midwest Regionals. Even more so because the Penn State women’s team will also be hosting a regional of their own in 2022, on-campus at the Pegula Ice Arena.
“Penn State prides itself on providing exceptional championship experiences for student-athletes,” said Penn State Assistant Athletic Director Michael Cross, who oversees the men’s and women’s hockey programs, in a news release from the school. “It’s an honor to have those efforts recognized with successful bids to host NCAA Championship events in our two newest sports and in two new, state-of-the-art facilities. The PPL Center will provide a fun tournament atmosphere for the NCAA Men’s Hockey regionals in Allentown.”