I loved Mellon Arena but facts are facts: The place Pittsburghers affectionately called The Igloo was a dump, a relic of the 60s that had to be replaced. Mario Lemieux & Co. got it done right next door with the building of the Consol Energy Center, which opens Wednesday and Thursday night with concerts by Paul McCartney.
The building seats 18,807 for hockey and features concourses that are open to the rink on both levels and a huge glass wall for fans to look out at the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh. Of course, it includes all the revenue-building amenities with plenty of corporate-sponsored names and also has some fabulous facilities for players. The Sabres will be there Feb. 4 and March 8.
With the building opening this week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a special archive section of its coverage that's worth a look. The paper also produced a video tour of the place that shows lots of areas hidden from the public, like the locker rooms (wish it had ventured into the press box).
It's long at nine minutes but definitely worth a look at this link. (Wish I could embed it but the P-G's code isn't working).
taggedNHL | Sabres