P-G "We anticipate having meetings with community members in the Hill District on the redevelopment of the Lower Hill," said new Penguins President David Morehouse yesterday. "It's far too early to anticipate what the outcomes of community meetings will be."The Pittsburgh Penguins had a hand in the South Side, some years ago. The team needed a practice facility. So, a deal was hatched to have the team put a roof over an outdoor ice rink in a park, South Side Park. The park sits behind what is now UPMC South Side Hospital and is below Quarry Field, home to the South Side Sabers football team.
The Pens would host an NHL All Star Game and one of the practices for the players before that game was even held at this rink.
The rink would be home to a few local hockey programs as well. Pitt played there as well.
Well, the Pens got out of that deal. The support of the team departed and the rink would eventually close due to poor management and a lack of oversight from the city officials.
The Pens would then have a hand in an impressive fitness and ice facility built at Southpointe. The new facility was out of the city and it was nice. After a while, the team pulled its support out of that program as well. The Pens has a one-time ownership stake in that facility -- and then it went away.
I don't think that the Pens have a presence in a region when it comes to neighborhood efforts and venues. Sure, there is the Mario golf classic and a wing in a hospital -- but nothing with a 'facility.'
Folks in the Hill District are now looking to the Pens to shell out some money for neighborhood programs. A small sliver of that pie could be obtained for a re-do of the city's lone indoor ice rink. I'm not sure that this is what the folks in the Hill have in mind -- but they'll hear from me in the days to come.