I’m Ready To Bid Farewell To The Civic Arena

And I love the Civic Arena (not the Mellon Arena).

I’ve been trying to stay on top of any current news regarding HOK Sports and the new Pens arena, and was thrilled to see new arena design drawings.

To me, seeing the Igloo go down will be as emotional as watching Three Rivers disintegrate. Sure, there were more memories at Three Rivers due to the fact that both the Pirates and Steelers used the stadium, but the Igloo saw successive championship banners raised to the rafters. I might cry when it ceases to be.

One thing that will help, is knowing that a ridiculously badass multipurpose arena will be waiting to take its place. I think that will soften the blow a bit.

Here’s a few specs about the new arena, as written by the P-G’s Ann Belser and Mark Belko (I guess your last name needed to begin with Bel- in order to participate in this article):

The new building, which is being designed by HOK Sport of Kansas City, Mo., will have its main entrance on Centre Avenue near Washington Place, with other entrances on the east side of the building off Centre Avenue and at Fifth Avenue and Washington Place.

Patrick Lempka, lead architect for the project, said the building will be 80 feet tall along Centre Avenue and about 130 feet high at Fifth Avenue.

People on Fifth Avenue won’t necessarily see the arena looming above them because the facade along Fifth Avenue will be brick and cast stone storefronts that will be about 55 feet high, with the arena set back on a plaza from the top of that base.

The new building will have a corridor around the main level that will run from Centre Avenue to the plaza behind the Fifth Avenue facade. That circular corridor will be faced with glass while the top of the arena will have some sort of metal or painted metal skin, Mr. Lempka said.

Mr. Lempka said the architects are working with the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority to incorporate features that would make it a green building.

Cool green arena.

That last part was unexpected, but I guess the team is trying to stay at the forefront of a league-wide change. Or, Al Gore claimed to have invented the Penguins, and wants them to stop killing the Arctic Circle.

No matter the case, I’m just pumped to hear any/all news regarding the new arena. I know the building has been delayed, and the newest version of the Pens will still be playing in the home of the all-time great Sudden Death, but I can’t help feeling giddy about the possibility of Pittsburgh adding another amazing sports venue to their arsenal of first-class stadiums.

It will be unfortunate to see the Civic perish, but the Pens need that to happen in order to finally christen some modern facilities. I’d say they deserve it.

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