|Fame...and shame. From March 2012, the new statue of Mario Lemieux in front of Consol Energy Center, with the disintegrating Civic Arena in the background.|
As many of you know already, I have been a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins since I was a teenager. Some of my fondest memories of growing up involved Saturday night trips to Pens games. A bunch of us would catch the same 16A bus, walk up 7th Avenue to the Civic Arena, and go to the ticket window for a seat in the 'E' balcony.
After the ticket and round trip bus fare, there was still enough of a $10 bill left for a popcorn or a drink.
|Pittsburgh Civic Arena, circa the 1960's. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation|
Like many other Pittsburghers, along with the ghost of perhaps the region's greatest architectural visionary - Edgar J. Kauffman - I politely reply, "Hogwash". It doesn't make sense to go crying over spilled landmarks, though.
The arena's construction in the 1950's took out a large chunk of Pittsburgh's Hill District, and they want it back. Can't blame them, really.
|Consol Energy Center interior.|
Since my most recent hockey viewing experiences had been in Denver, while at the game I was comparing Consol to the Pepsi Center, and one word kept creeping into my thought process - tight.
The Consol center's website claims that the venue has "the most comfortable seating arrangement in the NHL — seats up to 24 inches wide, with an accompanying increase in legroom". Those seats must be really expensive, because the very expensive ones I had were just the usual size, with a little less legroom than similarly sized arenas such as Pepsi Center.
The voices elsewhere claim that the Penguins enjoy special treatment from NHL management. Sidney Crosby is vilified , not only by the fans in other cities, but by national media both in the US and Canada. This includes NBC analyst and former coach Mike Milbury, and CBC commentator and former coach Don Cherry, who reminds me of Classy Fred Blassie of WWE fame.
Beat 'em Bucs. Let's Go Pens.