The Mellon Arena was known as the Civic Arena. Then in December of 1999, the resident Pittsburgh Penguins signed an $18-million, 10-year agreement to rename the Civic Arena the Mellon Arena, after the Pittsburgh-based bank.
The Mellon Arena has exemplified every trait of a world class entertainment facility. Originally built to house the Civic Light Opera, the Mellon Arena is home to a variety of family shows and has hosted such music legends as Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, six sold-out nights of Garth Brooks and The Grateful Dead
The Mellon Arena hosted its first show, the Ice Capades, on September 19, 1961. Other notable performance highlights include: The Beatles on September 14, 1964, Elvis Presley on June 25, 1973 and the Page/Plant concert on March 25, 1995, which registered the highest attendance ever in the Arena (17,764) until January 30, 1999 when 18,150 fans packed the arena for a WWF house show.
The Mellon Arena is famous for its revolutionary architectural design which features the largest retractable, stainless steel dome roof in the world–170,000 total square feet and 2,950 tons of Pittsburgh steel. The roof, which has no interior supports, is divided radially into eight leaves and is supported by a huge cantilever arm that arches 260 feet. The Mellon Arena, which was featured in the 1995 film "Sudden Death" starring Jean Claude Van Damme, boasts a dome that is designed to open or close in just two minutes.
The size of the Mellon Arena floor is 200 feet x 85 feet (17,000 square feet) for hockey, and can be expanded to 250 feet x 120 feet (30,000 square feet) by pushing back the A-level seats.
In the Fall of 1967, the Mellon Arena became the home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens have since earned two Stanley Cup Championships–1991 & 1992. Other notable sporting events hosted at the Arena have been the Larry Holmes vs. Renaldo Snipes heavyweight boxing match in 1981, the 1983 World Figure Skating Championships, and the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament first and second rounds in 1997.
The Mellon Arena boasts two exclusive dining clubs–The Blue Line and the Igloo Club, both of which are available for private parties and events. Other recent renovation projects include the 1993 addition of the F-level balconies, new luxury skyboxes and several privately catered club seats. In addition, the East and West Igloo seats give patrons access to the adjacent lounges. While the original capacity of the Mellon Arena was 10,500, these and other renovations over the past three decades have increased that number to over 17,000.
SMG is the management company for the Mellon Arena and is universally recognized as the world leader in the private management of public assembly buildings, operating over 120 venues worldwide. Combined, SMG facilities host more concerts than any other presenter in the world.
With Disney on Ice, World Wrestling Entertainment, Harlem Globetrotters, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Penguins hockey and a myriad of concerts, the Mellon Arena is a fast-paced hub of entertainment for the Pittsburgh area.