Demolished Arena Debt Nearly Clear
Pittsburgh institutions and taxpayers have almost made good on the tens of millions they have owed on the now five-years demolished Civic Arena.
The arena, the longtime home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, had bonds issued for various renovations in 1991 ($6.24 million), 1994 ($13.6 million), and 1997 ($10.5 million), according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Those three bonds were then refinanced in 1999 and 2005, with expenses falling in various arrangements to the Allegheny Regional Asset District, the City of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny County taxpayers.
RAD, which funds regional assets from one-half of the proceeds of the county’s Sales and Use Tax, has taken the lion’s share of the burden, having put in $43 million since 1997, according the Post-Gazette. Its next payment will be worth $685,000 in July 2018. The city and county will pony up $244,000 this year and owes $254,000 on Dec. 15, 2018.
Rich Hudic told the Post-Gazette once the debt is finally clear, the organization might be able to look into “opportunities for enhancement to new projects or current projects.”
The Penguins moved into what is now PPG Paints Arena in the 2010-11 season and won back-to-back championships in the NHL’s last two seasons. Civic Arena, which was also called The Igloo and The House That Lemieux Built, was originally constructed in 1961 and was completely demolished by March 2012.
While Pittsburgh is ready to finish paying for a building that no longer exists, other cities like St. Louis and Oakland are still stuck funding stadiums for the NFL’s Rams and Raiders, who are leaving town before the bill is paid.
The Rams already jumped ship to Los Angeles in 2016 with St. Louis still having $85 million to pay for The Dome at America’s Center, constructed in 1995.
The Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas in 2020 and Oakland owes approximately $90 million for improvements to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which began in 1995.