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February 12, 2004

Pittsburgh seeking private arena bux

At the urging of a state senator, Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato say they plan to form a task force to find a way to build a new Pittsburgh Penguins arena - with private money. "My fear is, suddenly, the Penguins are going to teeter and threaten to move out of town, then it's going to be a crisis mode," said state representative Don Walko. "In a crisis mode, I don't think the interests of the public are best served." Walko noted that with Pittsburgh near bankruptcy, "let's face it, we're not going to get any local tax support for it. So the private sector is going to have to step up." The intended model for the plan is the Columbus Blue Jackets' $192 million Nationwide Arena, which was entirely paid for by Nationwide Insurance and the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

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