SBD/Issue 85/Facilities & Venues

Nostalgia Unlikely To Save Pens' Mellon Arena From Demolition

Penguins President Says Mellon Arena
Has Outlived Its Usefulness
Nostalgia for Mellon Arena is "running high in its final season," but Penguins President David Morehouse said that "fond memories are no reason to spare Mellon Arena from demolition once" Consol Energy Center is completed in time for the '10-11 NHL season, according to Jeremy Boren of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Morehouse: "It's not that we're not nostalgic about the arena, it's just that it has outlived its usefulness. The memories will last forever, but the arena shouldn't." Some critics have said that the Penguins "backed away from creating merchandise and other reminders of its final season, such as a patch for players' uniforms," but Morehouse said that the team is "planning a farewell celebration that will feature appearances by yet-to-be-named former players, a commemorative book and, possibly, a final concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra." Morehouse added during Penguins home games this season, the arena's big screens show video clips dubbed "Mellon Arena Memories." Boren notes in December, the Penguins "sent metal Christmas ornaments stamped with 'Mellon Arena' and 'Final Season' around an image of the arena with Downtown buildings in the background," and the ornaments are a "top seller on the team Web site at $19.99 a piece." Meanwhile, a Facebook group created by Pittsburgh-based architect Rob Pfaffmann "has amassed nearly 3,000 'fans' under the banner of 'Reuse the Igloo." The Penguins began play at the arena in '67, and Pennsylvania state Sen. Wayne Fontana said that the team and the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority, the arena owner, are "trying to appear to have an 'open mind' about preserving the arena, but it may be too late" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/15).

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