Sunday, August 26, 2007

Report: Penguins And Sabres To Play Outdoor Game - Sports News Story - WTAE Pittsburgh

This trend to turn back the clock is a splendid movement within sports.

A hockey game is slated for the outdoors on New Year's Day in Buffalo, NY, at a NFL stadium, home of the Bills.
Report: Penguins And Sabres To Play Outdoor Game - Sports News Story - WTAE Pittsburgh Penguins And Sabres To Play Outdoor Game
An outdoor game could be played in Pittsburgh. Wouldn't that be great. They could set up a hockey rink at Heinz Field or PNC Park. But I've got a better venue for such a game -- and I don't mean on the frozen Allegheny River near the Convention Center.

The Penguins could play an outdoor game, under the stars, in the Civic Arena. Retract the roof! Fix it. Have fireworks -- BEFORE the the game.

The Pirates have fireworks following the games in the summer. But the Pens, in the winter months, could have fireworks before the game. Or better, at the break following the first period.

With the roof open, people in their seats would be able to see the fireworks without a problem.

The problem is, the Pens and the city didn't take care of the classic gem of a facility, the Civic Arena.

For the amount of money it would take to set up the ice in the outdoor stadium, and then repair the turf again after the rink departs, the roof could be made to retract again.

It was great being in the Civic Arena for an event and having the roof open. It was great. They'd push one button and about two-minutes later, the dome is folded back within itself with only a small slice of the pie still in place.

Just a year ago or so I was making noise that the Penguins should build the new arena out by the airport, near the fans, away from the city and the new residents. Then the Civic Arena could be saved, and fixed, and used for civic events.

They could even hold one, or a few games each year at the old venue -- under the stars -- for turn-back-the-clock night. Triple the ticket prices for those nights, if necessary.

The region does not 'progress' when it churns. To advance the region means it must grow.

Do the math: +1 -1 = 1 in the end. That's one new arena with a subtraction of one old arena giving the region one arena.

I'd rather see one new arena built and one old arena retained so at the end of the cycle there are two arenas, not just one.

The same happened with the stadiums. Think about it. We lost Three Rivers Stadium and the debt didn't go away, just the asset. And we lost Pitt Stadium. Those two venues were replaced with Heinz Field and PNC Park.

We should have kept Pitt Stadium, kept 3RS and build a new baseball only park -- something like Forbes Field! (giggle)

We could play outdoor hockey at Pitt Stadium. Then Pitt's Hockey Teams (both men and women) could have home-ice venue. Oh well.

And to refresh everyone's memory, to round out the discussion with talk of 'roundball' -- The Pete, Pitt's new basketball venue, the one with the new roof and mega cost overruns, should have been built in Hazelwood, near the Parkway East, Panther Hollow and graduate student housing at Pitt's River Campus.

My plans are viable, sustainable and much better for the region.

If I was the controller and with a staff and elected position, I'd be able to issue the reports with the finance data to make sure we had more accountable leadership and directions for the region. I'd be happy to stand up to the Rooney family, the professional teams, the stadium authority, and other special interests.

The oldest arena in the NHL, the Civic Arena, now called the Mellon Arena, is a liability, so they said. Ha, ha, ha. The joke is on them. Now the NHL has learned that the game could be played outdoors. New will be a liability in the future.

The Pens will get a new venue and wish they had an old one.

The Pirates built a new stadium that was made to feel like an old, classic stadium.

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