Ode to the Igloo: Pittsburgh Penguins Bid Farewell to First Home

Derek ReedCorrespondent IApril 13, 2010

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 08:  A fan supports the Penguins against the New York Islanders at Mellon Arena on April 8, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Penguins defeated the Islanders 7-3.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

For 49 years, the Mellon Arena has become etched in the city's rich sports history. Over 2950 tons of Pittsburgh steel make up this behemoth overlooking downtown. The oldest venue in the NHL has seen countless matches of hockey, three Stanley Cups, three NCAA March Madness, Muhammed Ali boxing, tennis, nights at the opera, concerts, and even monster truck shows.

Now, the Igloo signifies the end of an era.

At the conclusion of the 2010 Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run, hopefully resulting with raising the Stanley Cup, the Mellon Arena will be emptied one last time before closing her doors and roof forever.

While many see this as a time of mourning, lets remember some of the great times in the house of thrills. Before anyone attended a hockey game there the building was used for the Civic Light Opera. But if you build it, the NHL will come.

Truth be told the original Pens might have had better luck playing with snow shovels but the same draw the Pirates have today put fans in the stands, the arena. One of a kind, the worlds first indoor sports facility with a retractable roof. They may not open any longer but dome design still remains one of a kind.

The Mellon Arena is a tin can, barely kept to building code and lousy seating. But no hockey cathedral screams more character than Mellon Civic Arena.

A place where 15,000 show up on the lawn just to watch the TribTron, where students will wait in four hour lines in 10 degree weather just to get be lucky enough to grab standing room only seats on discount.

So in closing, As the Mellon Arena prepares to head to that giant heap of rubble in the sky with the likes of Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium, we remember. The Igloo may signify the birth of the Pens, but the new Consol Energy Center across the street will signify their continued survival.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has just left the building!