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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh First development plan has picked up the endorsement of 11 more prominent western Pennsylvania elected officials.

Pledging their support for the exciting and unprecedented $1 billion-plus plan - featuring a new arena, casino, and development in the Lower Hill and Uptown - are State Representatives Don Walko, Jeff Pyle, John Pallone, Vincent Bianucci, Kenneth Ruffing, Anthony DeLuca, Tim Solobay, Ted Harhai and Chris Sainato; State Senator Don White; and County Councilman James Burn.

They join a delegation of 18 elected leaders who previously endorsed the plan, bringing the total to 29.

Pittsburgh First is a coalition dedicated to putting the interest of the people of Pittsburgh first in advocating and planning one of the largest economic development projects in the history of western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh First includes Isle of Capri Casinos, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nationwide Realty Investors and various community groups and leaders.

The development project is proposed on and near the site currently occupied by 45-year-old Mellon Arena. Isle of Capri has applied for the Pittsburgh slots license and, if successful, will provide $290 million to fully fund construction of a new multi-purpose arena that will keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh for the long term.

The 29 elected leaders have called for the entire western Pennsylvania region to put the public interest first and unite behind the proposal to use Pittsburgh’s gaming license to spur the comprehensive $1 billion-plus development project that will produce thousands of jobs and new businesses, revitalize the Hill and Uptown communities and generate millions of dollars of revenue for the region, in addition to providing a new, state-of-the-art arena at no cost to the taxpayers.

The 29 elected leaders who have endorsed the Pittsburgh First plan are:

State Senators: Jim Ferlo, Jane Orie, Jay Costa, John Pippy, Don White.

State Representatives: Frank Dermody, Dan Frankel, Joe Preston, Joe Markosek, Mark Gergely, Paul Costa, Sean Ramaley, Frank LaGrotta, Nick Kotik, Don Walko, Jeff Pyle, John Pallone, Vincent Biancucci, Kenneth Ruffin, Anthony DeLuca, Tim Solobay, Ted Harhai, Chris Sainato.

City Council members: Luke Ravenstahl (president), Bill Peduto, Jim Motznik, Tonya Payne.

County Council members: Bill Robinson, James Burn.

For complete information on Pittsburgh First, please visit

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