Penguins set to submit plans for new, bigger arena

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins' new arena is expected
to seat 18,500, or nearly 2,000 more than Mellon Arena now holds
for hockey, and will feature a glass atrium that faces downtown

The atrium will reach as high as 80 feet and will afford those
inside a view of downtown.

The Penguins on Tuesday showed off the final design made by HOK
Sport, which also helped design Heinz Field and PNC Park in

The $290 million arena is to be built between Centre Avenue and
Fifth Avenue, across the street from 46-year-old Mellon Arena. The
Penguins have played in that arena, once known as the Civic Arena,
since their initial season in 1967.

The new arena will include a 500-space garage, a surface lot for
150 cars and retail space. A hotel also may be built on the site in
the future.

Penguins chief executive officer Ken Sawyer said the team will
submit the project to the city planning commission for approval.
The Penguins hope to have the plans approved by January.

The arena is scheduled to open for the 2010-11 season, meaning
the Penguins will play this season and two more in Mellon Arena,
the NHL's oldest arena. Mellon Arena seats 16,940 for hockey.