The Penguins’ new home is starting to take shape.
The team unveiled exterior designs for its new multipurpose arena on Tuesday.
“This is another milestone for us as we move forward with the new arena,” Penguins CEO Ken Sawyer said. “This next step is getting approval for the site plan from the City Planning Commission. That process has reached a point now where we submitted our plans.
“We talk a lot about hockey and it’s natural for us to focus in on that, but always remember that this arena will be used more dates for other events. It is really, really important to us that this is a multipurpose arena and is really a treat when you’re there for a concert of family show.”
The arena design, which calls for an adjacent 500-space parking garage and about two and a half acres of green space, will incorporate many of the best features of new arenas from all around the country.
“There’s a lot of work to be done inside, but we’re very excited about where we’re headed with the design,” Sawyer said. “We need some more input from our fans and season ticketholders. We have been around to virtually every arena in the league and other leagues often, more than once, and we’re trying to pick the best things we see in other arenas to make sure we have the composite of what is the best arena out there in our minds. We certainly know it’ll be one of the best in the United States.”
The approximately 18,500-seat arena’s interior will stress sightlines and accessibility as well as many high-tech amenities.
“The arena is just going to be exceptional. We’re going to replicate some of the great ideas we’ve seen out there,” Sawyer said. “We’re going to have a series of restaurants and food and beverage opportunities. The concourses will be a lot wider than what we have now and a lot easier to move around. Of course, what you don’t see here is our commitment. We want to have the best and latest in electronics.”
Wayne London of HOK Sport, the firm in charge of the building design, is thrilled with the plans.
“This is really an exciting building for us. We have visited all of these arenas and we are picking the best of the best and putting them in this building,” he said. “We compliment the Penguins and their staff because we have never on a project, as an architect, had this much input up front. Same with the city. We worked with relentlessly with everyone, taking in their comments and reflected those into the design to where this is just going to be an outstanding, outstanding facility. We are going to be extremely proud to be a part of it.”
The progress on the arena has been steady.
“There’s a lot of work left to happen,” Sawyer said. “Our plan is to be under full-scale development of the building by next June or July. We may be in the ground a little bit ahead of that doing some excavation and foundation work, but we’re on time for our Fall of 2010 opening.
“We’re excited with a lot of things about this arena.”