New Uptown arena to match neighborhood
The new Uptown arena will help make the Penguins better neighbors this time around, officials said Tuesday.
Despite having 18,500 seats and an eight-story glass wall facing the city, the arena should look like it fits with the buildings around it, team CEO Ken Sawyer said.
"What we're trying to do is match the character of the neighborhood," he said.
The team submitted its arena designs yesterday to the city Planning Commission, which is expected to hear a briefing Nov. 27, take a preliminary vote next month and consider final approval in January.
Team officials hope to break ground before summer and open for the 2010 season.
Surrounded by parking lots, Mellon Arena has a more suburban design, said Don Carter, president of Urban Design Associates, a Downtown-based consulting group hired by the team and city. The new arena will fit into an urban plan.
The city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority plans to raze Mellon Arena for a 28-acre neighborhood development after the new building opens.
"A lot of people have had some input," Carter said. "This is the (design) most people were comfortable with."
After meetings with residents, public officials and other stakeholders, the arena designs changed from a contemporary river theme to a more traditional look, said Wayne London, an architect with HOK Sport of Kansas City.
The proposed arena would have more brick on its exterior and fewer contemporary metal panels. It would have 2.5 acres of green space, with outdoor plazas for community events. Along Fifth Avenue, the facade would be broken up to look more like nearby buildings.
A glass atrium facing Downtown would stretch along Washington Avenue and be topped by an outdoor balcony with restaurants.
A four-story, 500-space parking garage would sit on the opposite side of the arena with a surface parking lot and space for a hotel.
Penguins officials traveled around the league to see what they wanted inside the building.
They picked the top-down entry points from Minnesota, open lounges in North Carolina, the larger seat sizes in Phoenix and Boston's high-definition electronic screen, Sawyer said.
The arena would have wider interior concourses than Mellon Arena, as well as places where fans could access concession stands and still be able to watch the action on the ice.
"We are picking the best of the best and putting it in this building," London said.
While the team is trying to stick to a $290 million budget, Sawyer said the price could go up before construction managers set a guaranteed maximum price next summer.
The public would share in cost increases up to $310 million. After that, the Penguins will pick up any cost overruns.
The state is paying $8.5 million upfront and $7.5 million a year for 30 years. Majestic Star Casino agreed to pay $7.5 million a year for 30 years. The team is paying $4.2 million a year toward the arena and $500,000 a year for the parking garage.
Add Andrew Conte to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Malkin returns to center
- Penguins notebook: Team pays tribute to Ottawa shooting victims
- Bortuzzo could provide much-needed physical presence for Penguins
- Testing legs, giving backup goalie a chance are Penguins’ priorities
- Red Wings rally, shock Penguins in overtime
- Metropolitan Division holding own in early part of season
- Special teams shine for Penguins in win
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis returns to lineup
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Penguins notebook: Newcomers get 1st taste of rivalry with Flyers