The Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community as they co-host the NHL’s first joint Pride Game on Saturday, April 17, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The game will be nationally televised on NBC at 3 p.m.
The Sabres and Penguins’ Pride Game aims to bring together two cities to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities by sharing stories of inclusion, hope and allyship.
“Together with the Penguins, we hope this joint Pride Game will represent the spirit of inclusion that we know exists in our organization and our community,” Sabres Vice President of Community Relations Rich Jureller said. “This will be a special day and we’re thrilled that fans will be in KeyBank Center to celebrate with us. Hockey truly is for everyone and we encourage all of our fans to join us in our support of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Players from both teams will tape their sticks for pregame warm-ups with rainbow tape and take the ice wearing commemorative pride warm-up jerseys featuring the Progress Pride flag. Both teams in pregame warm-ups will use official Pride Game warm-up pucks with a distinct colorful design.
The Penguins and Sabres will co-host a seven-day online auction featuring pride tape sticks, commemorative warm-up jerseys and pucks and various signed items from both teams. The auction kicks off pregame on April 17 and runs through noon on April 24. To view the pride auction, visit here.
In Buffalo, fundraising efforts will benefit Pride Center of Western New York (Pride Center WNY) and Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York (GLYS). Pride Center WNY is a health promotion organization specializing in LGBTQ+ health and HIV prevention. Established in 2001, Pride Center WNY’s goal is to promote the lifelong health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people.
Originally founded in 1970, GLYS provides a safe and positive environment for LGBTQ+ youth to learn more about themselves through peer interaction and educational experiences. The organization creates opportunities for emotional growth and community awareness.
The Sabres and Penguins will donate 100 tickets for the game to LGBTQ+ organizations. Each fan in attendance will receive a Pride Game rally towel on their seat. Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus will sing the anthems before the game.
Fans who purchase a fan cutout between April 2 and 9 can use the code PRIDE to receive a $10 discount. For each cutout purchased during that time frame, $10 will be donated to Pride Center WNY. Fans can purchase a cutout here.
Leading up to the game, You Can Play will host a panel discussion focused on hockey from the perspective of LGBTQ+ participants with ties to Buffalo and Pittsburgh. The discussion will be hosted by Jonas Worth from You Can Play and the panel will feature Buffalo referee Alex Valvo, Pittsburgh Tigers manager Adam Knoerzer and NHL player agent Bayne Pettinger. The You Can Play Project works to ensure the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans.