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Pens will unveil even bigger TV screen for fans in Game 5

| Thursday, May 23, 2013, 12:15 p.m.

The Big Screen, apparently, wasn't big enough.

The Penguins said Thursday they will erect a new 27-foot by 15-foot Trib Total Media Big Screen that will be 11-feet wider and 6-feet taller than the previous one. It will be operating in time for Friday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series for fans who don't have tickets inside Consol Energy Center.

The high-resolution LED screen will be set up in the same spot it occupied for the previous 10 games — the parking lot at the corner of Centre Avenue and Mario Lemieux Place on the former site of the Mellon Arena.

“It took off to the point that in 2008, particularly in 2009 (when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup), at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, you could see Duquesne students carrying couches from their dorm rooms,” said Tom McMillan, the team's vice president of communications.

Admission is free, so McMillan said estimating the size of the crowds is difficult. But it may reach more than 5,000 when the weather is good.

“We gave away 3,000 towels (for the first game against the Islanders) and when we scored a goal and people started waving them, there were a lot of people who didn't have towels,” he said.

McMillan said the screen's attraction stems from fans' desire to watch the game in groups.

“It's the concept of the sports bar,” he said, “without the alcohol.”

For safety reasons, alcoholic beverages, glass and grills are prohibited.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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