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The First Stadium Retractables


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The first retractable stadium roof sports venue was the now-demolished Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Constructed in 1961 for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the arena was home to minor-league and NCAA D-1 basketball and ice hockey teams before becoming the home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins in 1967, as well as hosting over a dozen regular season NBA games in the 1960s and 1970s. The arena’s dome-shaped roof covered 170,000 square feet (16,000 m2), and was made up of eight equal segments constructed from close to 3,000 tons of steel, in which six segments could retract underneath the remaining two, supported by a 260-foot (79 m) long exterior cantilevered arm.