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Senate Approves Funding for Pittsburgh Arena

On July 16, 2007, the state of Pennsylvania's $225 million commitment to an Uptown Hockey arena for the Penguins achieved Senate approval by a 31-17 margin. The hockey arena proposal now goes to the House, where it is expected to be considered later that day or tomorrow.

The Hockey arena legislation, officially named House Bill 1631, provides $7.5 million annually for 3 decades. The Majestic Star Casino, which is planning to build a slots parlor in the North Shore, said that they will give $7.5 million yearly for the arena.

The Penguins will have to play the remaining $3.8 million for 30 years. The proposal became a hot issue in the Senate as legislators outside Allegheny County complained about the cash for Pittsburgh when their own plans in their districts were being overlooked.

The 2004 slots laws, better known as Act 71, allocated funds for several projects in Allegheny County. Some of these are the $150 million debt and development for Pittsburgh International Airport and the $80 million for the development fund.

It will provide $880 million over the next 30 years to remodel and widen the Pennsylvania Convention facility in Philadelphia. The proposal also adds the Pittsburgh Convention facility to projects aided by slot machines.

More than $1 billion in projects that are added by the House of Representatives were also removed from the proposal. Senators from other districts were given assurance that their projects would be reviewed in the fall.

Part of the compromise agreement states that Allegheny County cannot receive cash for more than 12 years compared to the 10 years stated in Act 71.


Sunday, 05 August 2007
Theo Evans