Penguins to Stay in Pittsburgh!

On the way home from Chuck-e-Cheese’s with my five year old daughter I caught the opening of the Pens vs. Sabres game on the radio and was privy to quite an announcement. Mario Lemieux came over the loud speaker to thank the people of Pittsburgh for their patronage and to welcome the Pens to another 30 years in the city of Pittsburgh.

Apparently this was not as much of a surprise to the rest of the city since, according to ESPN.com, Ed Rendell broke the news to the Pennsylvania Gaming Congress earlier in the day. Any way you cut it though it brings to a close what could be one of the least talked about potential team relocations in US sporting history. I mean seriously, if this were any other major sports franchise in any city the town would have been going ballistic, but not here. Not a peep. Of course, the guys on XM lead by the chief NHL prognosticator Elklund have done their share to keep up the buzz.

That being said, this Pittsburgher was hungry for news on the subject and am quite happy guy with this result. The city gets to keep a storied NHL franchise, the people should not have to pony up any more than they already are for the new arena. Unless of course you are one of those fools that spends his/her days buried in the back of a bar/mini-mart/pizza parlor/(insert your favorite local Pittsburgh dive here) feeding bills into a video poker machine that “does not” pay out.

Sadly, your life will change in that the local dive will now be a massive slot parlor sanctioned by the state where we can legally tax the hell out of your nasty little habit to pay for our new arena. A new arena that is supposed to land somewhere between Fifth Ave and Centre Ave.

“Even as negotiators were working on a final deal, the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority has fallen behind schedule in demolishing 11 buildings in the Fifth and Centre Avenue corridors in Uptown for the new arena.”

Now comes the big question, can anyone tell me where those 11 buildings are? I have two pics here courtesy of Google Maps that point the approximate area. I don’t know exactly where it will land but I can tell you one thing, Eli’s rent is about to go up big time! By the way buddy, where is this thing going to land?

Here are some of the reported stadium stats from TSN.

According to multiple reports, the new arena will be ready for operation for the 2009-10 season. The Penguins would reportedly contribute $3.8 million per year toward construction of the $290 million arena and another $400,000 yearly for capital improvements.

Sources also said that the price tag for the project will exceed the $290 million originally discussed. The station reports that a meeting between all sides will be held on Wednesday to formalize the agreement.

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