ShareThis Page
Penguins

New arena enthralls Penguins fans

| Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010

Many Penguins fans were forced to endure a ferocious storm on their way to Consol Energy Center, but when the skies cleared, they found themselves in Emerald City at the house the Wizard of Cros built.

The Penguins' new home is by all accounts a gem, and fans found themselves close to being mesmerized upon entering Consol Energy Center for the first time Wednesday before Sidney Crosby and Penguins faced the Detroit Red Wings.

"It's pretty overwhelming at first," said Stephanie Smith, a Robinson resident and season-ticket holder. "Everything about it is so big, so pretty, and so impressive."

What immediately has become evident is that multiple aspects of the new building's appeal are pleasing to fans. From its exterior and interior architecture to the new sound system, the building was a big hit in its hockey debut.

"The thing I noticed was the smell," said Smith's husband, Zak. "Everything about it smells new, not like the Mellon Arena."

For all of its charm, Mellon Arena was often criticized for being a less-than-ideal arena for a professional hockey team. Chief among those complaints was the small concourse area.

Those days are over.

"You notice right away how huge these concourses are," said Dave Meyers of Squirrel Hill, a longtime season-ticket holder who sits in Section 116. "You know there are a lot of people here, bit this place is so spacious, it doesn't feel like there are too many people. I can't imagine anyone having a better arena than this."

Although the Penguins were in good form Wednesday, it seems many of the fans opted to take pictures of the building instead of watching the game. Many fans were drawn to the west end of the building, close to the Trib Total Media Gate area.

Taking pictures of the city through the glass area on the arena's west side is clearly going to become popular.

"It's just awesome here," season-ticket holder Mike Dusch said. "Everyone will love it."

A number of fans bypassed the open house a few weeks ago, instead preferring to see the arena for the first time at a hockey game.

One fan, however, was lucky enough to get an up-close look many months ago.

Mt. Washington's Gary Delehanty enjoyed a sneak peak at the building almost a year ago because his uncle was part of the construction team.

"To see the difference between then and now is unreal," Delehanty said. "Everything about this place is amazing. It has huge concourses, there literally isn't a bad seat in this place, and it looks so good from the outside."

Opening night at Consol Energy Center was clearly a success based upon the complaints that were made. In fact, fans only complained about two things, one of which was that the toilets don't flush automatically.

The other complaint?

"I only have one problem with this place," Meyers said. "The thing is, I only have a half-season ticket plan. That's not good enough. I need to be here every night for every event this building hosts. It's that great of a place. It's perfect."

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.

click me