Thanks to my job, I get to see hockey in all sorts of small barns and beautiful arenas. Six weeks spent in Pittsburgh allowed me to see a few Penguins games on my days off. Leaving Mellon Arena after the Pens – Flyers games, I was actually a little sad, since it was most likely my final time at the Igloo. Since the Pensblog did a nice job looking at the arenas around the league, past and present, I thought I would share some pictures of the worst, or most characteristic, arena in the NHL. It’s all about perspective.
Hanging from the ceiling are what they call points. Chain motors with steel cables attached, to hang all the trusses, speakers, lighting and everything you need to put on a rock show, or any other show, for that matter. Usually, these go up and come down for each show, at least in most arenas. But things are a little different here, and points are very hard to hang. So they just leave them up. In order for the dome to open, all of those points have to come down. And believe me, that is going to cost some money.
There are a ton of pictures in this post, and I’m not going make them all load up if you don’t want to see them. They are after the jump. Click that link, and enjoy.
Everything in Mellon Arena is stacks of seats upon stacks of seats. And not all of them are good. There are some arenas where there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Mellon is not one of them. For instance:
The reason for the TVs and individual scoreboards? You can’t see above the ice surface. Completely cut off from the rest of the arena, this is your own personal scoreboard and jumbotron. More commonly used phrase in these seats? “What’s going on out there.”
Then you get some jackasses who want to stop in the middle of the hallway to have a conversation, and no one is going anywhere. Trust me on this one.
Here is what Ticketmaster has to say about the SRO:
A Standing Room Only ticket is an assigned space to stand behind a wall in the Level C End Zone. The user must be at least 5’5″ or taller to see over the wall in front of the assigned space. The scoreboard at center ice may not be visible from this location.
They mean it, too.
The Flyers game was actually my fifth game at Mellon, which is the second most I have seen in one NHL Arena (first being Le Can in Denver, of course).
There you have it. And to think, they are going to knock this place down. A strange little place, where past glories are being sought again, but only for a brief moment, before it goes away forever. If you have never been to the Igloo, and you have a chance, get there before they blow it up. A little bit of hockey history.