Sunday, August 10, 2008

Construction of new arena in Pittsburgh begins this week

Finally. They've only needed a new arena forever. The Igloo (Mellon to most) is 47 years old, and it definitely feels it. It's cramped, dark, no frills whatsoever, and a lot of seats have some kind of obstruction to the view. I've been to seven NHL arenas, and eight AHL arenas, and all of the AHL arenas, save perhaps Allstate, were nicer than the Igloo inside. The AHL Hershey Bears for sure have nicer digs, which stands out in particular because it's in-state. The Igloo still impresses from the outside though, with the round dome and setting on a hill.

Years ago they retrofitted additional seats into the Igloo by suspending them from the ceiling. I've sat in those seats -- it's a little scary. And how they meet fire code is a mystery.

I saw my first NHL game there, at an age too young to really remember it. And during college I would get the student rush tickets, which were a great deal. They probably don't have too many of them left over anymore though. Despite the fond memories, I'm not sad to see it go. It's too long overdue.

Anyway, happy new construction to the city. The official groundbreaking is Thursday and we look forward to puck drop in 2010.

And in what turned out to be a related topic, here's a fun question from a Q&A with Pens prospect Ben Lovejoy:

HF: From my understanding, your former teammate and Pittsburgh native Grant Lewis is quite the gamer, is there any videogame that you can play better?

BL: He plays all video games better than I do. I don’t play any, and he is sort of a connoisseur. That guy loves the city of Pittsburgh more than anyone else I know loves their hometown.

Did I put Ian up to asking that? Yep. The funny thing is that I wasn't even thinking about Grant being from Pittsburgh. I just thought of it because they played together at Dartmouth.

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