Step inside PPG Paints Arena – home to stunning entertainment in Steel City and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Opened on August 18, 2010, with a performance by Sir Paul McCartney, the PPG Paints Arena is the premier indoor concert venue and sports arena in Pittsburgh, seating more than 18,000 for hockey and 19,000 for basketball. Originally named the Consol Energy Center, it was renamed in 2016 as part of a sponsorship deal with PPG Industries.
Built at a cost of $321 million, the PPG Paints Arena is primarily known as the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but is also a world-class venue for concerts, basketball, and other sporting and entertainment events. It replaced the legendary Civic Arena (later known as Mellon Arena), whose iconic retractable stainless-steel roof informed its nickname, “The Igloo,” and whose reflection bounced off the PPG Paints Arena’s facade before its demolition in 2012 to make way for arena parking.
PPG is known for wide, comfy seats and generous leg room, and for its two upscale clubs that feature bistro and bar service that patrons can enjoy while still watching the action in the arena. A dozen escalators, a high ratio of food vendors per seat, and a giant food court and pub on the main concourse (also with a view of the arena) mean fewer lines, less missed action, and overall a super fan-friendly atmosphere.
PPG Paints Arena is the first National Hockey League arena to be certified by the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED). In order to be LEED certified, PPG Paints Arena had to earn points for energy savings, recycling, and other environmental features through commitments such as reduced water usage and the use of recycled and locally sourced materials in construction (impressively, it exceeded the minimum point requirement). More than three-quarters of the new wood used in the arena was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable forestry. PPG Paints Arena’s glass facade is made of state-of-the-art material that supported a unique river-influenced design while reducing energy costs by more than 30 percent.
As the home of the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, the PPG Paints Arena has seen its share of hockey excellence. The Pens have been in the Stanley Cup Playoffs every season since the PPG Paints Arena opened, behind the leadership of Sidney “Sid the Kid” Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
The goal horn from Mellon Arena, which was installed in 2005 at the beginning of Crosby’s career, was relocated to PPG Paints Arena upon the Mellon’s demolition, and as a symbolic tribute to Sid the Kid, the hockey capacity was set at 18,087 and later 18,387 in honor of Crosby’s uniform number, 87. No matter where the Stanley Cup Finals take place, PPG will be rocking, playing host to viewing parties where thousands of Penguins fans can watch on the arena’s videoboard.
The PPG Paints Arena has hosted the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament opening rounds three times (in 2012, 2015, and 2018) and will host them again in 2022. It is also home to the annual City Game, between the men’s basketball teams of Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh.
In 2013, the NCAA held its Division I Men’s Hockey Tournament finals (the Frozen Four) at PPG, and is scheduled to do so again in 2021. Every winter, the Three Rivers Classic takes place at PPG, in which Robert Morris University plays host to some of the best college hockey teams in the United States. From 2011 to 2014, when it was still known as the Consol Energy Center, the PPG Paints Arena played host to the Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League.
PPG Paints Arena Concerts and Events
Some of the biggest names in entertainment have performed at PPG Paints Arena as well, starting with Sir Paul McCartney’s performance on opening night. Other noted performers include Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, and Metallica.
Annual highlights include Disney On Ice, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Harlem Globetrotters, and Monster Jam. The WWE has hosted several pay-per-view events at PPG, including the 2014 Royal Rumble, 2016’s Roadblock, and 2018’s Extreme Rules events.