Civic Arena Pittsburgh - The Igloo
The House That Lemieux Built.
Civic Arena (formerly the Civic Auditorium and Mellon Arena, nicknamed The Igloo was an arena located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Civic Arena primarily served as the home to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the city's National Hockey League (NHL) franchise, from 1967 to 2010.
It was the first retractable roof major-sports venue in the world, covering 170,000 sq. feet and constructed with nearly 3,000 tons of Pittsburgh steel, and supported solely by a massive 260-foot-long cantilevered arm on the exterior.
The Pittsburgh Hornets, members of the American Hockey League (AHL) played home games from the 1961–62 season and went on to win the Calder Cup in the 1966–67 season.
As part of the 1967 NHL expansion, the city of Pittsburgh was selected to host one of six new franchises. With a hockey seating capacity of 12,508, Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena was eight seats over the NHL's minimum seating benchmark. Due to its outward appearance, the Arena was nicknamed "The Igloo" which led to the naming of the Penguins.
The Penguins debuted at the Civic Arena on October 11, 1967 in a 2–1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Andy Bathgate scored the Penguins's first goal in the arena. It was the first NHL game played between an expansion team and an "Original Six" team. The Penguins won their first game at the Arena on October 21, when they became the first expansion team to beat an original NHL franchise—besting the Chicago Blackhawks 4–2.
On January 21, 1990, the Civic Arena hosted the 41st National Hockey League All-Star Game. Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux scored three goals on his first three shots—the first coming 21 seconds into the game. He later scored a fourth goal and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. The arena also hosted the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, as well as games of the 1991, 1992, 2008, and 2009 Stanley Cup Finals.
The 2008 Finals marked the only occasion that the Stanley Cup was presented on Mellon Arena ice, after the Penguins were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings in six games.
The Pittsburgh Penguins played their final regular season game at the Mellon Arena on April 8, 2010 when they defeated the New York Islanders 7–3.
The Pittsburgh Penguins played their last game in Mellon Arena on May 12, 2010; a 5–2 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens to eliminate them from the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. This means the Canadiens both opened and closed the Penguins' career at the arena, handing out defeats at both events.