It’s a sports lovers week! First the NCAA Basketball Championship Game and now onto the Stanley Cup ice hockey playoffs. Why would we cover this for our METALCON readers you ask? If you haven’t already heard, METALCON 2019 is headed to Pittsburgh in October for the first time in its 28 year show history. There are a lot of factors that go into the decision of where the show will take place year over year. Given Pittsburgh’s illustrious history in the steel industry, along with the ongoing development of its downtown and convention district, selecting it for the 2019 show was an easy decision.
Sports has always been part of Pittsburgh’s history, from football to baseball to ice hockey! The Pittsburgh Penguins’ franchise dates back to 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the NHL’s original expansion from six to twelve teams. The Penguins originally played in the Civic Arena, affectionately known as The Igloo, from the time of their inception through the end of the 2009–10 season, when they moved to the Consol Energy Center, which was later renamed PPG Paints Arena (PPG is one of METALCON’s 2019 Premier Sponsors and headquartered in Pittsburgh!). The new PPG Paints Arena opened August 18, 2010.
ArenaDigest.com reported on March 8, “The Penguins have been working for years to bring new development to the 28-acre site, but previous efforts–including a plan for a new U.S. Steel headquarters–fell short. However, the effort appears to have new momentum, as Penguins affiliate Pittsburgh Arena Real Estate Redevelopment (PAR) unveiled plans for the property on Friday. The Penguins currently play at PPG Paints Arena. PPG Paints Arena was built on a site adjacent to its predecessor, so this development will be part of the area immediately surrounding the current facility. Civic Arena, known affectionately by many as The Igloo, opened in 1961 and was home of the Penguins from 1967-2010. It was demolished in 2012, with the site used for parking in the years since.”
The old Civic Arena site has sat empty for years. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says he’s pleased with the plans he’s seen. “The Penguins want to build a development that compliments the beauty of downtown Pittsburgh and is done in a dense, urban way, not a suburban sprawling parking lot.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the Fall. Perhaps a reason for METALCON to return to the “steel city” in a future year? Sending best wishes to our Pittsburgh (and New York) friends as the two teams continue to battle it out on the ice!