Aerial photo of Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Image Credit: Perry Quan (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Its been nearly a decade since the Pittsburgh Penguins played their final home game at Civic Arena, also known as ‘The Igloo’ and ‘Mellon Arena’. The arena was home to the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1967 until 2010 and was finally demolished in 2012. The Pittsburgh Penguins recently announced that they would be redeveloping the 28-acre arena site into a mixed-use development that will feature restaurants and bars, a hotel, retail space, mixed-income housing, a food hall, a music venue, a four-acre public park, and office buildings.

Mixed-use developments are becoming a trend throughout the professional sports world. Teams now see the importance in making their venues a year around destination for fans. The redevelopment of the site will cost more than $750M to complete and will be overseen by Intergen and the Buccini/Pollin Group. The development has been compared to the additions to the North Shore area located between PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers). However, the North Shore area does not have the residential units that the Civic Arena site will have. The Civic Arena site is also considered to be located in a more desirable area within close proximity to the Strip District, the Hill, Uptown, and downtown Pittsburgh.

U.S. Steel had originally planned to build their headquarters on the Civic Arena site in 2015 but those plans never came to fruition. The Pittsburgh Penguins will be forced to forfeit 20% of their parking revenues if construction on the site begins later than October 2020. After Civic Arena was demolished in 2012, the site has since served as a parking lot. The Pittsburgh Penguins will have to complete a neighborhood review process for the area to meet the requirements of a community collaboration agreement. This would include mandates on affordable housing, hiring locally, and developing work forces. The Pittsburgh Penguins own the redevelopment rights to the old Civic Arena site. The first phase of construction for the mixed-use development are expected to begin during the fall of 2019.


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