The National Hockey League's All-Star Game could be coming to Pittsburgh's new hockey arena, once it's built.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said this morning that he's asked NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to bring the annual event to Pittsburgh in 2011 or 2012.
"I talked with the commissioner and he said it's a reasonable expectation to look at Pittsburgh as a site in the near future for an all-star game after the new arena opens," Ravenstahl said.
The last time Pittsburgh hosted the NHL All-Star Game was in 1990. Atlanta is slated to host the game in 2008; Montreal is scheduled to have it 2009. There will be no All-Star Game in 2010 because of the Winter Olympics.
Glendale, Ariz., is trying to get the All-Star Game in 2011, the first year Ravenstahl said Pittsburgh could attract the league's annual January event.
Ravenstahl said city, Allegheny County and Pennsylvania officials are still working with the Penguins to sign a 30-year lease for a new $290 million Uptown arena. That could happen within the next 30 days. The Penguin's current facility, Mellon Arena, is the oldest venue in the NHL.
Government and team officials announced a deal Tuesday to build the new arena after months of intense negotiations that included threats from team owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle to move the team to another town.
Ravenstahl said he suggested the idea to Bettman at the end of negotiations last week.
"With a new facility and the great young team that we have here and obviously the opportunity to highlight Pittsburgh once again on the national level is something that was very intriguing," Ravenstahl said.
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