Penguins Won’t March

The saga of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ search for a new home is nearly over.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced March 13th that city, county and state officials had reached an agreement with the team to finance a new arena that will keep the Penguins in the city for the next 30 years. Rendell said part of the money for the new arena would come from the state’s new slot machine parlors.

The Penguins’ contribution will be $3.8 million a year for construction and $400,000 annually for unspecified capital improvements, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The arena is expected to be completed by the start of the 2009-10 season, the paper reported.

Representatives for the soon-to-be-completed Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., who offered the Penguins a deal at the venue, released a statement saying they knew all along they were going to have serious competition.

"From the very outset of our talks with the Penguins ownership, we were well aware that the governor, mayor and other elected officials would do everything in their power to put together the best deal possible to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh," AEG president Tim Leiweke said. "There is no doubt that Sprint Center will be the first arena considered by any team looking to relocate and there is no doubt that there will be attractive options either thru (sic) relocations or expansion in the very near future."

The Post-Gazette also reported that news of a new arena in Pittsburgh is drawing praise from area promoters, who feel the city gets passed over because the outdated Mellon Arena can’t accommodate the production setups of large tours.