New Station Square stadium to become ice rink for a month

As skaters go 'round, they can watch walls go up at Highmark Stadium


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Highmark Stadium, the future home of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer team and Pittsburgh Passion women's football team, will open as an ice skating and hockey venue called Penguins Pond at 2 p.m. Friday.

The Station Square facility will provide play for youth and adult hockey and public skating through Jan. 13. It is a collaboration of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Riverhounds, Highmark Stadium and 84 Lumber.

David Morehouse, CEO and president of the Penguins, said, "It will be a spectacular venue, giving kids and families a chance to skate together outdoors while enjoying the breathtaking Pittsburgh skyline."

The rink is constructed atop a protective turf surface, and skaters will witness construction progress through the winter. Riverhounds CEO Jason Kutney said the stadium will be complete in time for the Riverhounds' and Passion's first home games in March.

The site occupies the former Trib Total Media Amphitheatre at Station Square and has been six years in the making from the earliest plans.

Mr. Kutney, a midfielder on the Riverhounds, said the foundation, underground plumbing and electrical work is done; steel will be erected next week to begin construction of the building's elevation.

"The body and skin of the building will be completed in the first couple weeks of January," he said. "All the other components -- the lighting, grandstands, ancillary buildings under the grandstands are pretty much in the final stages."

The $10.2 million stadium with 3,500 seats will upgrade the digs of the Riverhounds, who play in the United Soccer League and have been using the field at Chartiers Valley High School.

The Riverhounds' schedule will be released after Christmas, he said. They play from March through August. The Passion plays from April through June.

Rink hours for open skating will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Holiday hours will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Christmas eve. The rink will close for Christmas.

Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League games will take place after 5 p.m. on weekdays and in the morning on Saturdays.

Rates to skate are $7 for adults, $5 for youth, with $3 skate rentals.

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Diana Nelson Jones: djones@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1626. Read her blog City Walkabout at www.post-gazette.com/citywalk.


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