Thursday, September 26, 2013

PSU Hosts Pegula Ice Arena Media Day

Penn State held a Pegula Ice Arena media day on Wednesday, consisting of a press conference with hockey czar Joe Battista followed by a tour of the $90 million facility that opened to the public earlier this month.

First, just to get it out of the way, it seems apparent that the event was designed mostly to generate a PIA wow factor for the assembled media, and by extension, the public. Still, before we get to the photos and videos that tend to be the quickest route to "wow," Battista's presser offered several bits of news - some mundane, some you already know, but hey, that's what we do around here.
  • The Greenberg Ice Pavilion's fate has still not been finalized, but Battista said that it will likely be converted into a strength and conditioning area for athletic teams or a recreational facility for students. The ice removal process got underway this week.
  • One of the Zambonis at Pegula Ice Arena is electricity powered. Sort of a striking bit of environmental consciousness considering that the facility was funded by a guy who became a billionaire through hydrofracking.
  • There will be a team merchandise store in the arena.
  • Fundraising is proceeding well - Battista is still short of his initial target, but 22 of the 36 men's and women's scholarships are fully endowed, and self-sufficiency across the two programs remains the ultimate goal.
  • A pep band will take up 40 seats in the student section.
  • Battista would like PIA to host an NHL rookie tournament, similar to ones held in places like Traverse City, MI, Penticton, BC and London, ON that pit prospects from several different organizations against each other. The arena's size likely makes it too small for a full-fledged NHL exhibition game, but most other preseason activities are on the table.
  • Commencements, volleyball camps and other non-ice events are also possibilities during the month and a half (May through mid-June) per year when the ice will be removed from the main rink.
  • For men's games, all 14 suites, 98 loge seats and 525 club seats are sold out, and only about 200 seats per game plus standing room spots will be up for grabs in the still-to-be-announced single-ticket sale.
  • Speaking of, the listed seating capacity of the arena is 5,782, just a bit shy of the generally-used 6,000. However, the Centre Daily Times reports that there will be a total capacity of 6,014 thanks to 233 people worth of standing room. You don't have to be John Urschel to figure out that one of those figures is off by one, but close enough I suppose.
  • Pegula Ice Arena has a goal horn.

And of course, there's the...
  • ...potential Beaver Stadium game(s). Battista confirmed that there have been discussions and that the intent is to involve both Penn State and the NHL, but stressed that things are in the very preliminary stages. There's literally nothing new about any of that, but hey, you know the media.

From here, let's break into some links to content generated by those invited. Since most of this stuff falls into very obvious categories, I'll group everything that way.

Press Conference

Video Arena Tours
Note: The WTAJ tour is actually a news report and also includes clips of the Battista press conference.

Centre Daily Times // // WTAJ
Photo Galleries

Note: The PennLive and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review galleries are attached to news stories, but ones that essentially just re-package Battista's quotes. Since you have the transcript of those, I figured the photos were the real draw in those cases.

General Features

New Pegula Arena polished and ready to go
(Centre Daily Times)

Read more here:
(The Daily Collegian)
(The Daily Collegian)

(The Daily Collegian)
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Outdoor Game at Beaver Stadium?


  1. I was checking out the preseason rankings this morning. I might have to revise my expectations for this season. We play at least 11 games against the preseason top 5 -- #1 UMass Lowell twice, #3 Wisconsin four times, #4 Boston College once (possibly twice) and #5 Minnesota four times.

    Throw in 4 games against #10 Michigan and a pair against #12 Union and that makes about half our games against the top 12 teams in the country.