Quite a day with the Penguins.  Quite a few days as a matter of fact.  A palpable buzz in the air with the entire organization getting ready for the first playoff game.  In the meantime, more long term concerns are being addressed.  Demolition of the old Civic Arena is nearly complete and on schedule to be finished in May.  All that's left across the street from Consol Energy Center is a pile of rubble that is slowly being cleared away.  In the short term, that space will be converted to parking.  The city of Pittsburgh and the Penguins have big plans for the 28 acres of land sitting on the other side of Centre Avenue.  Preliminary development plans are in the works.  Many interested parties (including a Penguins intern) are participating in ongoing meetings to start fleshing out the specifics of the mixed-use space that will hopefully be built over the next decade.  With such a large scale project, it is important to get everyone on the same page and in agreement as to how everything will shake out.  There are many, many details to figure out even in the early development stages.  There are many government approvals that are required on the local, city, county and state levels.  The process is in motion but it is clear that this is a project that will take many years until it will reach any sort of conclusion.

Today was also my first exposure to game day operations.  My role was fairly minimal and my assigned tasks seemingly mundane.  I very much enjoyed the experience though and feel like I definitely contributed to the overall experience of the fans entering the building.  First I helped pass out programs and "rally towels" at one of the gates.  Amazingly the Penguins give away for FREE their game program for every single game.  'Ice Time' as it's called, is not just a couple of advertisements stapled together.  It's over 200 pages of professionally published game information.  Giving a program to every fan that walks in the door is one of the little things that I believe contributes to the outstanding game experience that people rave about every year. 

I also helped out in a small capacity with some other in-game promotions.  I have not been a part of these types of operations since I was working at The Horseshoe for Ohio State.  This was certainly a different type of operational experience but one I enjoyed nonetheless.  I am looking forward to the next playoff game on Friday.

Unfortunately the day ended on a somewhat sour note when the Penguins gave away a 3-0 first period lead to arch rival Philadelphia.  The good guys lost in OT and the hated Flyers took a 1-0 series lead.  Fortunately for the Penguins there is still plenty of time to get that game back. 

All in all, I'd have to say that being involved with my very first Penguins game from "behind the scenes" is something th

Leave a Reply.