Is it possible to save the Civic Arena? I say no, but these pictures are quite intriguing.
I was directed to these concept drawings after reading a piece on Bleacher Report about the future of the Civic Arena.
...rather than settling for the destruction of Mellon Arena once the Penguins' new home is completed, why not "re-use" the arena[?] Robert [the concept artist] suggested turning the Mellon Arena into an area that includes shopping, restaurants, and other public-use, revenue-generating spots.
...it would likely be much more difficult to convince the Pittsburgh politicians that the current Mellon Arena area would be better served as a public entertainment area than a parking lot for the new arena. Considering the massive fallout that has resulted in recent months about the construction of the new arena (across the street from Mellon Arena), suggesting that more work be done in the same area (the Hill District) could cause Jake Wheatley's panties to accumulate in much more of a bunch than they have been in since the arena construction was approved less than a year ago.
As sad as I am to see older venues go, it would take nothing short of a miracle to save the Civic Arena. What with all the development in the Hill District and the space needed for the new arena, its seems less than feasible to keep the Igloo. While it would be cool to see the Civic Arena used for shopping, shows and lower-level hockey, success in a future version of the Civic would only undermine the proposals of the new arena, set to be used as a multi-purpose venue rather than just a home for the Pens.
All in all, its an interesting idea, and one that resonates with a history and sports buff like myself. Keeping the Civic Arena in some capacity would be a brilliant move, despite it being a farfetched idea.