I recently received a comment on my article entitled "Sweet Home, Mellon Arena" from a new member at Bleacher Report, Robert Pfaffmann.
It suggested that rather than settling for the destruction of Mellon Arena once the Penguins' new home is completed, why not "re-use" the arena. Robert suggested turning the Mellon Arena into an area that includes shopping, restaurants, and other public-use, revenue-generating spots. Robert even went as far as drawing up multiple concept sheets of possible new designs for the Igloo.
My response to Robert was that while this seems like an excellent idea to the average Joe, it would likely be much more difficult to convince the Pittsburgh politicians that the current Mellon Arena area would be better served as a public entertainment area than a parking lot for the new arena. Considering the massive fallout that has resulted in recent months about the construction of the new arena (across the street from Mellon Arena), suggesting that more work be done in the same area (the Hill District) could cause Jake Wheatley's panties to accumulate in much more of a bunch than they have been in since the arena construction was approved less than a year ago. All that being said, I'm looking for some feedback from you—the readers, and the fans.
Check out Robert's concept sheets, and drop a line in the comments section or shoot me an email regarding what your opinion of a "Civic Renewal" is, and how we, as citizens and fans, could go about further pursuing such a project.
I'm not sure if this type of proposal has ever been made in another teams' city around the league, so I'm looking for any comments or ideas that the Bleacher Report community could serve.