Mellon Arena roof may open one last time

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Mellon Arena may go out the same way it came in -- with its roof open.

Officials are exploring the idea of opening the arena's retractable roof one last time to close down the old building.

Jay Roberts, general manager of Mellon Arena/SMG, confirmed today that the idea is under consideration. But he added there are a number of hurdles to clear to make it a reality, the chief one being whether the roof will open.

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Mr. Roberts said it hasn't been opened since at least 2001 and then only a "crack." The last time it was fully retracted was 1995.

"There are a lot of question marks," he said.

Officials are exploring the idea as part of a grand finale for the 48-year-old building, which will close this summer and give way to the Consol Energy Center, which is opening across Centre Avenue. Mr. Roberts said SMG is pursuing a "couple of options" for a final act.

Mr. Roberts said no final decisions had been made.

"There are several that we've been working with. At this point I can't comment on whether there's a frontrunner or who we're hoping to get. There are a couple of options that we're pursuing."

SMG also is trying to line up a big-name opening act for the Consol Energy Center.

Mark Belko: or 412-263-1262.


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