Fans impressed by Consol's technology
Tom Hall couldn't get a seat next to his wife and her family for the Penguins' home opener Thursday night at Consol Energy Center, so he sent her photos and text messages from his smart phone instead.
That kind of communication wasn't always so easy across the street at Civic Arena.
"It's a lot better," Hall, 32, of Greensburg, said. "The other arena was a dungeon. You couldn't get anything."
Technology at Consol Energy Center brings the game closer to fans, with more than 800 flat-screen televisions, 250 Internet access points and more cameras, including one embedded in the dasherboards.
A 20-minute opening ceremony last night included lights, loud music and video on the 20-foot-by-15-foot, four-sided monitor over center ice.
Even when Jeremy Shafter, 37, stepped out to get a Primanti Bros. sandwich minutes into the first period, he could stand in the concourse and watch several television monitors or look into the open bowl at the main screen.
"You don't miss anything," he said between bites.
Joe Johnston, 29, of Upper St. Clair, said he has downloaded Pittsburgh Penguins Mobile — developed by YinzCam, Inc., a Carnegie Mellon spin-off company — but hadn't yet explored all the options for replay and live statistics. He said he plans to spend the rest of the season figuring it out.
"It's gonna be sweet," he said, adding that the new building also will be an adjustment.
Consol Energy Center makes Penguins Mobile features available from every seat for the first time, YinzCam CEO Priya Narasimhan said.
Before the game and between periods, fans tried out other gadgets throughout the building.
Andy Ream, 13, and his brother pulled up video and stats on defenseman Paul Coffey from one of 20 giant interactive trading cards inside the Trib Total Media Gate, at the building's northwest corner.
Nearby, Alicia Demchak, 30, of Mars checked out the names on a virtual image of the Stanley Cup that spins around. She once saw the real Cup but couldn't get as close.
Other fans stood in front of the $2 million Verizon studio, which tracks Twitter messages being sent across North America to show what Penguins-related words are showing up most often in different geographic areas. For a while, team owner Mario Lemieux's name was the most common Tweet coming out of Ontario.
Andrea Maschak, 31, watched the board, with Civic Arena visible outside through a wall of windows. The architecture of that building made it special, she said, but the technology in the new building has improve the fan experience.
"It just makes it seem like we're in the 21st Century," she said, "instead of the 1970s."
Penguins vs. Flyers Opening Night at Consol Energy Center
The Penguins lose to the Flyers, 3-2, on opening night at Consol Energy Center Thursday October 7, 2010.
Add Andrew Conte to your Google+ circles.
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.
- AHL overtime rules create some confusion for Penguins prospects
- Penguins’ Johnston eager to implement up-tempo style
- Penguins’ Dea impresses in rookie tournament opener
- Recchi relishes new role with Penguins
- NHL becomes no-spin zone during shootouts