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Checking out my first NHL game: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins, Feb. 2, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena. (GeekWire photo / Taylor Soper)

TAYLOR’S TAKE ON THE WEEK IN SPORTS TECH: Hey, Yinzers! I’ve been having fun living and working in Pittsburgh for the past week as part of our GeekWire HQ2 initiative. On Friday I experienced my first NHL game in person as Sidney Crosby’s Penguins hosted Alexander Ovechkin’s Capitals at PPG Paints Arena.

Loved the fast-paced action of live hockey with few in-game interruptions. I can see why it appeals to a younger crowd, as Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee told me last month.

Sports tech note: Pretty cool watching coaches use iPads to review video of past plays during the game. This went into effect last year, and is similar to how NFL teams use Microsoft Surface tablets.

I also noticed a ton of advertising around the arena. Some of it was old school: Penguins staff would literally stick new rink ads on the walls after each period. And yes, even the zamboni had a sponsor.

The thick game program was also packed with ads. While reading I learned about “Pens Pass” — a last second way to buy mobile tickets. More and more teams are offering this.

Also noteworthy: entering the arena. I first went through security gates before taking escalators inside the arena up to the concourse, where ushers scanned my ticket. Not sure if this is done to speed up the security process; it is certainly a good idea that doesn’t force Penguins fans to stand in the bitter Pittsburgh cold.

I’ll be in Pittsburgh all month and will be meeting with a few sports tech startups while I’m here in the Steel City. Not clear who Pittsburghers are rooting for in the Super Bowl — Steelers fans dislike both teams equally, it seems. Follow all of our coverage on GeekWire or my Twitter.

Highlights from the week in sports tech

Thanks for tuning in, everyone!  — Taylor Soper

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