Thursday, April 30, 2009

In the Steel City, Yanni Trumps Sidney

While NHL arenas (particularly those of contending teams) usually are loath to book events during the months of April or May just to avoid conflicts with potential playoff games.

However, that isn't exactly the case in Pittsburgh.

On his blog, Ted Leonsis takes a shot at Mellon Arena's management for putting the master of the pan flute above being able to have a day off in between Games 4 and 5 of the series next Friday and Saturday since Game 6 needs to be on Monday, May 11th since of the concert scheduled on May 12th.

The playoffs are very intense and physical and players need time to recoup. No one is advantaged by playing back to back games so no one can complain but it is unfortunate that the Yanni concert takes precedence over high quality NHL playoff hockey.

Of course, it's understandable spring events at Mellon Arena are a source of a sore spot for Leonsis and the Caps, who agreed in 2001 to the unusual step of playing Games 2 and 3 on the road after a dance competition was scheduled for the aging venue. Of course, the competition was eventually cancelled, but the Pens stole Game 1 in Washington, swept the two games at home and eventually took the series in five games.

But that's not the only exciting event that is filling the schedule as it is up in Western Pennsylvania, as a WWE Smackdown is slated for Sunday and Dane Cook for Tuesday, meaning the ice probably won't be in very good condition for either games in Pittsburgh.

As for the Verizon Center, the next non-hockey event doesn't take place on May 18th for a Bruce Springsteen concert, which could impact the Eastern Conference finals if the Capitals and Hurricanes advance to battle for the Wales Trophy. But the building has been hockey-only since the playoffs started, while Mellon Arena certainly has filled the calendar, mostly thanks to the building's managment as SMG looking to fill dates.

It also creates an interesting dynamic for a big shift in momentum late next week, as the team that wins Game 4 has a huge momentum advantage heading into the next night in Washington.

1 comment:

  1. Yanni doesn't play pan flute. He's a composer and keyboard player.

    And you've just got to see this new concert. This ain't your momma's Yanni!