|The Civic Arena|
The Arena was constructed in 1961, originally for the use of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. However, it expanded its events to include many events, including the circus, concerts and of course, the Penguins.
It also was known for its retractable steel roof, the largest in the world supported by a single steel beam, which would open on certain occasions. In fact, my parents remember attending an Alabama concert where the roof opened up, allowing a glimpse of the night sky.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were the main habitants of the Igloo, and provided many entertaining nights to yinzers far and wide. Hockey greats like Michel Briere, Rick Kehoe, Kevin Stevens, Larry Murphy and Mario Lemieux all played and delighted Penguin fans for many years at the Igloo. The Arena also introduced Pittsburgh to fan favorites like Slippery Rock Joey Mullen, Downtown Robbie Brown, Frankie Leroux and Zarley Zalapski. I could list many more, but it would take too long to name them all.
Although efforts were made to save the arena by labeling it as a historic landmark, those efforts have finally been put down for good, and the arena is coming down. Most fans will have to rely only on memories and pictures to remember the large, domed arena.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the announcement that the Igloo will be demolished by ball and chain, rather than implosion. Grumblings have been heard from many moustached yinzers, who were anticipating a large tailgate party to celebrate the impending 'plosion.
The 'plosion parties have been canceled, but the Igloo is still coming down. Goodnight, sweet prince. Thanks for the memories.