(Orchard Park) It took less than 30 minutes Tuesday morning for fans to buy all 42,000 tickets made available for the NHL Winter Classic, an outdoor game between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins to be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Jan. 1.
"I don't know if anybody anticipated that," Sabres spokesman Michael Gilbert said, referring to the speed of ticket sales. "It's another indication of how special this market is toward hockey."
Gilbert said 32,000 tickets have been held back for Sabres season-ticket holders, who have the option to buy more tickets in addition to the ones they have. Tickets have also been reserved for the NHL, as well as both teams.
Tickets went on sale one day after the NHL announced it would hold its second outdoor game and first in the United States.
The stadium in Orchard Park is home to the NFL's Buffalo Bills and has a seating capacity of about 74,000.
Fans began lining up outside the stadium before midnight. Ticket buyers also jammed the Sabres phone lines for most of the day.