Consol Energy Center expected to finish on budget
Pittsburgh's Uptown hockey arena is on track to finish construction within its $321 million budget, according to Mary Conturo, executive director of the Sports & Exhibition Authority, a city-county agency.
Although staffers still are tallying contract close-out figures for Consol Energy Center, Conturo said she is confident the project won't exceed the final budget. The arena is scheduled to open with a Paul McCartney concert Aug. 18.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who helped shepherd a deal to keep the Penguins hockey franchise in Pittsburgh, said city officials see the arena as a step toward revitalizing the adjacent Hill District neighborhood.
"It's very exciting to see it come along so quickly," mayoral spokesoman Joanna Doven said.
But the Penguins' new home, which initially wasn't supposed to cost taxpayers anything, got to this point with $47.6 million in public funding.
State records the Tribune-Review examined show the most recent infusion of public money -- $10.1 million in state Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grants -- was released in February. It's money the state committed when officials reached a deal to build the arena.
The latest grant follows $27 million in state grants -- for site acquisition and preparation work, and to pay investment bankers last fall when a "swap deal" underpinning the bonds that financed construction went south.
The grant was part of $174.2 million Gov. Ed Rendell's administration doled out in R-CAP grants in the first half of 2010.
The Pens weren't the only sports team to benefit from the state's largesse. Records show taxpayers underwrote $4.5 million for a minor league baseball stadium in Reading, and $7.5 million for a soccer stadium in Chester this year.
Conturo said the public investment in Consol Energy Center should be complete.
"We're not anticipating anymore. (The $10.1 million) satisfied the commitment in the final budget agreement," she said.
When officials signed the deal to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh two years ago, Rendell and local politicians said taxes on slots play and payments from the hockey team would cover the arena's cost.
But the final agreement required the state, the sports authority and the Penguins to make up the difference between the initial $290 million cost of the arena and any construction overruns, up to $321 million. In addition to the funds from the state, the Pens were responsible for $15.5 million and the authority, $5.5 million.Additional Information:
Taxpayers' tab for Consol Energy Center:
• $10.1 million committed as the state's portion in final agreement and disbursed in February
• $ 5.5 million committed as the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority's portion
• $19.7 million in a state Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grant
• $ 7.2 million from the state in 2008, for 'preliminary costs'
• $ 5.08 million in 2009 for investment bankers in a bond 'swap deal'
Total • $47.6 million
Source: Tribune-Review research
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.
- Crosby appreciates his relationship with Penguins fans
- Penguins goalie prospects push each other amid friendly competition
- AHL overtime rules create some confusion for Penguins prospects
- Penguins’ Johnston eager to implement up-tempo style
- Recchi relishes new role with Penguins
- NHL becomes no-spin zone during shootouts
- Penguins report to training camp Sept. 18
- Penguins’ Dea impresses in rookie tournament opener
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- Ex-Penguin Malone looking for 2nd chance