Saturday, August 21, 2010

Practice rink part of Penguins plan

Blast from the past: September 2, 2004:

Practice rink part of Penguins plan: "The Penguins' lease with the Iceoplex at Southpointe expired this week, and they are in the market for a new practice facility."

But that might not be a long-term concern.

Owner Mario Lemieux said yesterday that the team would like to include a practice rink in its proposal for a venue to replace Mellon Arena.

There is a similar arrangement in Columbus, where the Blue Jackets employ a rink adjacent to Nationwide Arena for practices and other events. Such a facility conceivably could be used for things such as public skating and amateur games when the NHL team is not there.

"If we ever get a new arena, we'd like that," Lemieux said. "That's a pretty good setup they have [in Columbus]."

The Penguins, who contend their survival in Pittsburgh hinges on getting a new building, hope to secure the city's stand-alone slots parlor license and have pledged to use money from that to help finance Mellon Arena's successor. But while the team's bid has garnered considerable political support, there is no guarantee the license will be awarded to Lemieux and his partners.

And despite speculation that whoever gets the license might be compelled to devote some of the proceeds to construction of a new arena, Lemieux said that simply having a new building would not necessarily be enough to keep the franchise in Pittsburgh if the slots license is awarded to another party.

"That's something we'd have to look at," he said. "I'd think that, at this stage, we'd need a little bit more than just a new arena for us to make it work."

Lemieux declined to elaborate on what those requirements would be.

The Penguins' lease at Mellon Arena expires in 2007. After that, the team would have no legal ties to the city, allowing Lemieux and his partners to sell the franchise to a buyer interested in relocating it.

First published on September 2, 2004 at 12:00 am

Dave Molinari can be reached at 412-263-1144.

Read more:
So, where is the practice rink with the Consol Energy Center?

Okay -- how about we call the practice rink the CIVIC ARENA.

With the arrival of the Pittsburgh Power, where are they going to practice? With the game schedule of the Pittsburgh Power, why not keep the Civic Arena as a practice venue to the Penguins as the ice at the Consol Energy Center is going to be unavailable for practices when there are games with spectators for Arena Football.

Or, we could fix this. Then Penguins once practiced here.

That's the crushed roof of the only other indoor hockey rink. It went without use for many years and bit the dust -- err snow -- this past winter.

1 comment:

traveler said...

Well said. Reusing the Civic Arena as a winter time skating venue, open or closed to the sky depending on the weather, makes so much sense. There are so many possibilities for this iconic structure.