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Penguins bond issue, lease approved @NHL

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

The agreement 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 National Hockey League. 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 $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.

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