Monday, August 9, 2010

In the Big City: Grand Opening

On Saturday, Hubby and I once again found ourselves venturing into Pittsburgh, full of excitement.  For those of my readers who may be hockey fans, I am sure you are aware that the Pittsburgh Penguins are getting a new arena.  Well, on Saturday, the grand opening was held, and we got to attend.  It was pure awesome.  You see, because the new arena is called the Consol Energy Center, the grand opening was primarily for Consol employees and affiliates.  Some friends of ours, M and J, are in that category and had tickets, but were leaving for vacation that morning, so they offered the tickets to us (a million thanks M and J!).  We readily accepted them. 

We got into town, and it was a gorgeous day.  The Consol Energy Center is located right across the street from Mellon Arena.

 The front of the center is all glass, and the cityscape reflects off of it so beautifully.

We got inside, and we got a little swag bag with a schedule of the day's events, and a commemorative puck.  You immediately notice all the high tech gadgets all around.  A virtual Stanley cup.  Scrolling LED banners.  Flat screen t.v. EVERYWHERE.  This place is the ultimate mancave.

Hubby excitedly spotted Iceburgh, the mascot, and requested a photo, which was quickly arranged.

Finally we were all corralled into one seating area.  The number of people there filled about a quarter of the arena.  We sat and waited for the presentation.  The place is just spectacular, so we had no problem just sitting and looking.

Finally, there was a short presentation, mostly geared toward Consol employees, which I thought was pretty awesome.  Then two employees got to do the ceremonial first official face off in the arena.  It was quickly followed by a cheer of LETS GO PENS!

After that we got to explore the place for the next 3.5 hours.  There was tons to do.  They had a station where you could get a free t shirt made (it was my first stop, I was ridiculously excited).
There was also a chance to skate on the ice (we did not), get temporary tattoos (nope), meet and greet retired Pens players (the line was ridiculously long, so, no go there), but mostly we just wondered around and drank in the sites.  The tickets for admission were also good for $12 worth of concessions, which Hubby used, but I did not, as that would not have been good for my weight loss goals.  The food all looked and smelled amazing though!

We got to go into the ultra swank Lexus Club, which had an actual Lexus convertible in it.  Sit in it and try it out?  Don't mind if I do!

We also got to tour a Party Suite.  Very cool, having your own private party at a Pens game.  A girl can dream, I suppose!

There is all kinds of Pens pictures and artwork lining the walls of each level, but this was one of my favorites.  Who doesn't love Geno?

There is a great Kids Zone, with activities for the kids, including some Wii interactive sports deals and this cool little Crosby Dryer Challenge.

As you can imagine, I took a ton of pictures, and we had a blast!  It was so cool being part of the first few to really get to experience the arena.  We had a wonderful day!

Now we just need to wait a little while longer to hear those magic words.....