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Happy Day! Penguins getting their new arena!

March 13, 2007

FINALLY! Crack open the champagne Iron City Beer (yeah, it’s only 8 a.m., but still…) and let’s party. The Pittsburgh Penguins are staying in Steeltown for 30 more years!

Pitt Tribune Review cover 3-13-07

Both the Post-Gazette and the Tribune-Review are announcing that the on-again-off-again long-awaited new arena deal has been worked out between team management and city and state officials.

Details after the jump…

Some of the details of the $290 million agreement (from the Trib report):

  • The Pens will get all the revenue from the arena and pay all operating costs, sources said.
  • The deal calls for the state to pay $7.5 million annually from a state economic development fund and slot machine revenues.
  • Don Barden, owner of Majestic Star Casino LLC, which has been awarded the slots license for Pittsburgh, will pay $7.5 million a year, and the team will pay $3.8 million a year, plus $400,000 a year in capital improvements.
  • The Penguins have an option of paying $500,000 a year to build a parking garage near the arena, which will be on property owned by the Sports & Exhibition Authority between Centre and Fifth avenues.
  • The team and state will split any overages in construction costs up to $20 million.

Demolition begins in weeks. Breaking ground in September. Construction done by fall 2009 for Sidney Crosby’s fifth season in the black and gold.

Even though neither side is confirming the deal, the agreement is expected to be announced tonight shortly before the Sabres game in Pitt.

I bet the crowd goes absolutely crazy at the news! Put THAT on the Jumbotron!

Gov. Ed Rendell is expected to be there … and then he should never come back to the land of Three Rivers again, after how badly he botched this whole process.

ESPN reports that maybe NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was integral in getting both sides to agree to the lease.  If he was, and threatened owner Mario Lemieux with a block of his relocation plans to Kansas City, then he’s on my Christmas card list for years to come.

And, on a lighter note, Kansas City is taking the news rather well. They are now aiming to get the Nashville Predators to move.  Nice.

Growing up north of the Pittsburgh area, I’ve been hoping and praying that the Pens would be able to stay. Now, I can confidently go out and buy my Evgeni Malkin jersey and wear it with pride, and not worry that the team is taking flight.

In the words of ex-Pitt mayor Sophie Masloff: “‘GUINS WIN!”  Actually, all hockey fans do!

  1. March 13, 2007 7:34 am

    This is great news. I saw this in the Post-Gazette this morning as well. Now it’s time to focus on bringing home the Stanley Cup.

  2. March 13, 2007 7:38 am

    I’ll start the chant Writer …. WE WANT THE CUP! WE WANT THE CUP! 🙂

  3. March 13, 2007 12:05 pm

    Oh yeah! They really could do it too, you know, if they ever decided to play periods 1 and 2 and hard as they play period 3. They would be unstoppable.

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