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Authority OKs bond issue, lease for Penguins arena @NHLdotcom

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A city-county board has approved a US$325-million bond issue for a new arena and authorized a 30-year lease with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

An underlying agreement also approved Thursday binds the team to the city for at least 30 years, although formal lease documents were still being finalized, Sports & Exhibition Authority officials said.

The authority board also authorized extending the Penguins' current lease at 46-year-old Mellon Arena, the oldest arena in the NHL. The extension gives the Penguins more control over revenue at the building as its master tenant.

The bond issue is expected to cover the cost of the US$290-million arena, a possible parking garage and other related expenses.

The Penguins hope to move into the new arena during the 2009-2010 season, but that's not guaranteed at this point.

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