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Concert Venues :: Pittsburgh Civic Arena


Now Known As Mellon Arena
Date Opened 1961
Venue Capacity 17,740
Venue URL
Venue Address 66 Mario Lemieux Place
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219

Venue Information

Pittsburgh Civic Arena, as it was originally known, was completed in 1961 at a cost of $22 million, which currently makes it the oldest arena in use in the NHL. Oddly enough, the arena was not originally intended for sports, but instead as to host the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, which had previously performed at Pitt Stadium but grew tired of having performances rained out. The building was-and remains-unique, and well ahead of its time. It was built with a retractable dome made of six stainless steel arched panels, five of which could roll under the sixth. When the weather was pleasant enough, the dome could open in two and a half minutes, turning Pittsburgh Civic Arena into an outdoor venue.

The Civic Light Opera did not stay in the building long, however, as it became clear that the acoustics were poor. The group left the arena by 1968. The AHLs Hornets were replaced by the expansion Penguins in 1967 and accordingly, the arena was gradually expanded. Renovations in 1975 and 1993 added upper level seating at each end zone and luxury suites and club seating, increasing the overall seating from 12,000 to 17,000. The 1995 addition of a new scoreboard, however, robbed the arena of its signature element, permanently preventing the roof from opening.

Venue Photos

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