Penguins sign agreement to stay in city until 2040

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Gov. Ed Rendell and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato today announced that the Penguins have formally signed a lease for a new arena that commits them to staying in Pittsburgh into 2040.

The lease signed Tuesday formalizes an agreement reached in March.

Mr. Rendell and Mr. Onorato made the announcement in advance of groundbreaking for US Airways' flight operations center in Moon.

The arena lease means the Sports & Exhibition Authority will be able to close on a $325 million bond issue to finance construction. The bonds could be issued by October.

The Penguins, casino developer Don Barden and the state's casino-financed development fund will pay for the bonds.

Mary Conturo, executive director of the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority, said officials worked hard to prevent any loopholes that would enable the Penguins to leave Pittsburgh before the end of the lease.

"What was important for us was to have a lease that committed the Penguins to stay and play hockey in Pittsburgh for 30 years," she said




More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.



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