Penguins land their arena

It took seven days instead of four this time, but it’s official: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell announced this morning that state and local officials had agreed on a deal to build a $290 million arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The deal, which will be formally announced later today, should put an end to threats of moving the Penguins to Kansas City, Las Vegas, or points unknown.

So just what was accomplished by the last three months of negotiations and move threats? According to press reports, the state and casino operator Majestic Star will each put in about $7.5 million a year to pay off arena construction costs, while the Penguins will kick in $4.2 million, part of which will go to fund future capital improvements. The team will get all arena revenues, and pay all operating costs.

Since that’s almost exactly what the governor’s Plan B arena deal arranged for last year, before this whole hoohah started, it’s still a bit of a mystery as to why it took this long to get an agreement – especially since, with the team only putting in a bit more than one-fifth of the costs, it still looks pretty sweet for Mario Lemieux and company. Maybe we’ll find out more this afternoon.


3 comments on “Penguins land their arena

  1. “it’s still a bit of a mystery as to why it took this long to get an agreement ”

    I think it is quite clear; Lemieux wanted to milk the county and state for anything and everything they were willing to give.

    So, instead of lowering property taxes, the slots money is going to build a sports arena. Nice.

  2. Except that there’s no sign he got anything for his milking that he couldn’t have had back in December.

    My guess is this all had something to do with ancillary revenues – non-hockey events or parking fees or something. But I’m eager to see what, if anything, is revealed in the official announcement.

  3. And now the Light Orchestra can look for the same deal to renovate the Mellon Centre . Man if Pittsburgh loses the Light Orchestra it will be a disaster. I wish Kansas city would get their own Light Orchestra

    Cheers paul

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