Civic Arena Moves Closer To Final Decision

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The former home of the Pittsburgh Penguins is one step closer to becoming a permanent fixture in Pittsburgh.

According to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Civic Arena received a 5-1 vote from the city’s historic review commission to head to a formal hearing to decide whether the building will receive designation as an historical landmark.

The Civic Arena went down this road nine years ago. The same commission gave approval to head to a formal hearing before voting against historical designation.

Even though the arena received an overwhelming vote of approval, it has three very persuasive groups opposed to the historic designation.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and the building’s owner, the Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority, all want the building demolished and the land turned into residential, office and commercial development.

The Penguins and the County Authority have argued against keeping arena saying it costs about $65,000 a month to maintain the structure and the arena is not bringing in enough revenue to support the building.

If the commission recommends historical designation it will then move to the planning commission and City Council for final approval.

The arena first opened in 1961 and became the home of the Penguins in 1967. Since its opening, the arena has hosted a multitude of events. In 1961, the arena hosted its first show, the Ice Capades. Other events held at the arena were: The Beatles in 1964, Elvis Presley in 1973, heavyweight boxing in 1981.

In addition, the Penguins won three Stanley Cup Championships in 1991, 1992 and 2009 as tenants, though they never clinched the cup on home ice.

The Stanley Cup was presented at the Civic Arena one time, in 2008, to the Detroit Red Wings.

  • Jeff

    To keep the Civic Arena would be an insult to the Hill District and the city. The arena when first built tore apart the Hill. The area needs to be redeveloped properly to restore the area. To keep the arena would be a wasted resources, time and money. No matter what use is made up for the arena it will be the least effiecient building for that use. An arena is built specifically for the purposes of being an arena and Pittsburgh has a cutting edge newly built arena right across the street.

  • John Koval

    They should make it into a family indoor water park… look at all the money they could make all year long instead of just sitting there empty. It would be cool!!!

  • Josh

    Get rid of this old building. Create construction and retail jobs and allow this section of the city to grow into a vibrant area. Maybe the architects can incorporate part of the dome into a new development. Everyone got over Three Rivers Stadium being torn down and look at how the North Shore has thrived; although parking will soon need addressed.

  • Karen

    This is built from our HOMETOWN STEEL built by our families, this is our HERITAGE. New Orleans kept their staduim because of fond memories, we need to band together “HOMETOWN ALL THE WAY” Built right here for all of us.

  • Brian

    Breaking News: Due to the fact the all of Pittsburgh is old & historic, nothing in Pittsburgh is allowed to change or be renovated. Due to an oversight, Three Rivers Stadium is going to be rebuilt to honor the 4 Super Bowl and 2 World Series winning teams. Next, because of the 3 World Series winning teams and the first live radio broadcast at Forbes Field, it also will be rebuilt. Sorry Pitt, we need home plate back.

  • Joe Heminger

    Instead of throwing away $65,000 a month of taxpayer’s money to maintain an obsolete hockey arena next door to a state of the art hockey arena, Maybe the money could be better applied toward saving Pittsburgh’s decaying and grossly underfunded public libraries.


    hill district residents voted that it become a historical landmark.

    there’s a reason there hasn’t been a supermarket in that area for 30 years….

  • Valerie Guadagno

    Why not cut the Arena in half, make it an outdoor venue. The Pgh Pops can perform during the spring and summer as well as show Classic Movies, and outdoor skaking rink both in the summer and winter similar to Rockafeller Center at Christmas. Get a HUGH TREE, with a skating rink for the holidays and put on a Holiday Extravaganza. Bringing ALL the people of Pgh together. This could generate not only the $65K/mo but alot more and some of the money could go to not only to help fund libraries as mentioned above, but other similar projects and charities.

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