Hill hopes: The new arena can revive a community The Hill District, potentially one of the most dynamic areas of growth and investment in the city, is fortunate to have committed activists speaking on its behalf on a variety of issues.The Hill District can be and should be a dynamic place. Its modern-day potential is not realized. There is a long way to go.
However, I feel certain that The Hill District will always be in a state of flux, bad flux at that, when the NHL uses that neighborhood as a venue for the Pgh Penguins.
In my not so humble opinion, the Hill District will flourish and thrive once the Penguins play somewhere else.
Putting 18,000 people into your neighborhood for three periods makes for a lot of checking, a lot of slashing, a lot of bone crushing hits on quality of life issues.
The way to flourish is to buffer the special events by using the existing Mellon Arena as a civic arena. Drop the top decks. Hold more modest events. Squeeze 5,000 into seats there for non NHL events.
Put the Penguins into another area of Allegheny County.
That's the key to turning the Hill District one of America's greatest neighborhoods.