Monday, April 2, 2007

The New Arena

Yesterday's P-G Mark Belko article made the forthcoming cathedral of hockey sound just fantastic.

From a glass atrium that will span some five stories and offer views of the Downtown skyline to open concourses at each end that will allow people to catch the action below while buying a hot dog, the goal is to provide a "cutting-edge" experience for fans, Penguins President Ken Sawyer said.

Seating is improved, for both the super-boxes and the plebes. Design goes out of its way to court media -- all kinds of technical and creature comforts, the better to facilitate the action into America's livingrooms.

The innovations inspired from Lemieux's hockey playing career are just adorable:

The players will be able to go directly to the locker room from the bench without having to cross the ice. There also will be a small theater in the locker room where coaches and players can watch tapes of opponents and other film.

Remember our arena can host all kinds of other events, as well.

Mr. Sawyer said the Penguins also want to work with Pitt and Duquesne to bring the NCAA men's basketball tournament back. The city hosted the early rounds in 1997 and 2002.

"Clearly with college basketball being so significant here in Pittsburgh, I think we would be a great host city," he said. "We'll now have the capacity to do it."

But don't expect the National Basketball League to be part of the action. Mr. Sawyer said he doesn't believe a market the size of Pittsburgh can support professional basketball and hockey.

"It's just not possible," he said. "The NBA just wouldn't come here. The market's not big enough."

Editorial Comment: Wa-wa-WHAT? Nay-saying! Such blatant nay-saying! Think about it -- another major league sports team for the city! Won't somebody please think of the children?


  1. Hey, I believe that children are our future as much as the next guy, but if the newspapermen in this town can't even get the league's name right (that'd be the National Basketball Association, not the National Basketball League, hence the acronym NBA), we can't possibly expect the market to handle such expansion.

    Besides, do we really need another team in this town to be overshadowed by the Stillers?

  2. In fairness, Pittsburgh currently has a professional basketball team on some lesser circuit, the Spirit. I wasn't sure if they were in the "NBL."

  3. Perhaps you are thinking of the Pittsburgh Xplosion (you know they're edgy and hip and urban because they left the "E" off the word). The Xplosion are a member of the Continental Basketball Association. The Spirit, as far as I can tell from some brief internet research, were a major league soccer team based in the City of Champions in the early 80's.

    Either way, with the Pens winning, I don't think that 'Burghers have any real desire for a fourth major professional sports team. And they can get their hoops fix from Pitt.