Mellon Arena: My time has passed
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The end is near. I can feel it in my beams.
How am I doing• Don't ask. I'm old.
Back in the day, I sparkled in stainless steel. I was the world's biggest dome. I was the first arena with a retractable roof. Ooh-la-la.
But my time has passed. I'm ancient. I smell like stale beer. I've got nacho cheese stuck in places you couldn't even imagine.
You can only do so many versions of the Ice Capades or Disney on Ice. You can only take so many visits from the circus, whether it's Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey or the World Wrestling Federation. What, they changed it to World Wrestling Entertainment• What else don't I know• Did they come up with some fancy-pants name for monster trucks, too?
Look, I get the same thing in my Christmas stocking every year.
You guessed it: Harlem Globetrotters tickets.
I could bore you with tales of yesteryear, but I'm nothing more than a bit actor in B-movies. Have you seen Sudden Death! Blow me up• I'll be Jean-Claude Van Dammed! (Between you and me, I still don't trust this Iceburgh character.)
I gave Mario Lemieux the best years of my life, and what do I get in return• He uses me as a bargaining chip to build his baby across Centre Avenue. Consol Energy Center• It took 38 years to get someone to pay for my naming rights! And he has an atrium• I would have LOVED an atrium! I haven't even been able to open this roof for 15 years.
Don't they make a pill for that• I'd give Gate Three ...
Seriously, though, I shouldn't complain.
I've hosted the best of them: The Beatles. Sinatra. Elvis. The Rolling Stones. The Grateful Dead. Springsteen. My favorite• Bob Marley. Won't you help me sing ... Sorry, I get carried away. Love the live recording of Redemption Song. Don't forget that I was built to hold only 10,500. Page and Plant drew 17,776 in '95! I almost burst with 18,150 for the WWF in '99.
And the sporting events ... Don't get me emotional.
Sugar Ray Robinson. Muhammad Ali. Larry Holmes. The City Game. The NCAA Tournament. Coppin-freaking-State! Fang Mitchell still drops a note every now and then. (Haven't heard from Ben Howland lately, though). Connie Hawkins and the Rens and Pipers and Condors. Whatever they were called, he was good. So was the Living Legend, Bru-no Sam-mar-tino! Got a kick out of Paul Child and the Spirit. Who can forget Vitas Gerulaitis and the Triangles• The Gladiators• I think they played here.
But they call me the Igloo for a reason. They built me to be a world-class opera house for the Civic Light Opera, but let's be honest here: I'm a hockey arena. My parents might be eternally disappointed, but the Penguins are my first love, from the top of my dome to The Blue Line club. Michel Briere. Lucky Pierre. Mario. Jaromir. Ronnie. Ulf! Kaspar. Sid. Geno. Flower. Jordy.
Five different NHL scoring champions — sacre bleu to you, Montreal! — three Stanley Cup championships and countless memories. How do you like my new banner• It's a great day for hockey. Every day.
There, I've said my peace. I'm old. My time has passed.
I have only one last request: one more Cup, this time on home ice.
If I gotta go, let me go out a winner.
What they're saying about Mellon Arena ...
Three Rivers Stadium: "They tell you implosion doesn't hurt. They lie."
Heinz Field: "What is TRS complaining about now• Try playing host to the WPIAL football finals, Pitt and Steelers on the same weekend!"
Forbes Field: "Don't feel bad. I gave Pittsburgh its greatest sports moment, and they hit me with the wrecking ball. All that's left is Maz's wall."
Pitt Stadium: "Not only did they tear me down, they became a basketball school!"
Fitzgerald Field House: "What, I didn't count?"
PNC Park: "For a fond farewell, we're sending you off with a bobble dome, a throwback night and fireworks. Hope some people show (sigh)."
Petersen Events Center: "Thanks for always making me look good, and for holding the Ice Capades ... and especially the circus. Any chance I could have the Harlem Globetrotters when you're gone• Sorry, poor timing."
Palumbo Center: "As a going-away gift, you can have one last City Game."
Consol Energy Center: "I know it's not a popular opinion within the organization, but I think you deserve better than this. We're talking about my idol here, and he's going to be reduced to rubble."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trac Fabrication all-terrain wheelchairs open world for disabled
- Pittsburgh hires consultant, former Wisconsin police captain as chief
- Retail theft suspect takes off, leaves baby at Rostraver Township Walmart
- Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
- Steelers Lookahead: Previewing Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland
- Bethel Park mortgage broker pleads guilty
- More pipelines proposed to carry Marcellus gas to southeast markets
- Tomlin: Steelers preparing to face both Browns QBs
- Wedding aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper ends in arrests
- Tuesday- Sept. 2, 2014
- Parking Authority settles suit over kiosks