Authority OKs bond issue, lease for Penguins arena

The
Associated Press

A
city-county board approved a $325 million bond issue for a new arena and
authorized a 30-year lease with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

An
underlying agreement also approved Thursday binds the team to the city for at
least 30 years, although formal lease documents were still being finalized,
Sports & Exhibition Authority officials said.

The
authority board also authorized extending the Penguins’ current lease at 46-year-old
Mellon Arena, the oldest arena in the National Hockey League. The extension
gives the Penguins more control over revenue at the building as its master
tenant.

The bond
issue is expected to cover the cost of the $290 million arena, a possible
parking garage and other related expenses.

The
Penguins hope to move into the new arena during the 2009-2010 season, but
that’s not guaranteed at this point.