Venue News & Notes: Pittsburgh Goes Green for Earth Day

While the Pittsburgh Penguins compete for another hockey championship, the team’s new arena is fighting for an award of its own. The new NHL arena, set to open next year, will seek a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, which would make the new complex the first LEED Gold-certified major sports venue in the country. The announcement to go for the Gold was made on Earth Day by the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority.

Pittsburgh’s new arena will be not only the newest in the National Hockey League when it opens in 2010 but the greenest arena in sports. On Earth Day, the Penguins and the city and Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority announced that they will seek LEED Gold certification for the $321 million complex, which is being built adjacent to Mellon Arena. Of major sports venues, the Washington Nationals’ ballpark in Washington has a LEED Silver designation, the third-highest, and arenas in Atlanta and Miami have basic LEED certification, according to the Green Building Council…

…The beginning of the end is finally here for Dallas’ Reunion Arena. A demolition schedule has been set, and preliminary work is taking shape in and outside the vacant arena, which is slated to be leveled by the end of September. Contractor A&R Demolition has taken over the site from the city and set up temporary offices inside the Reunion parking garage. A chain-link fence was erected in recent days around the perimeter of the arena, and a large trash bin sits by the west entrance…

…Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard proposed raising alcohol and car-rental taxes in Marion County as part of an approximately $50 million plan to cover a projected budget shortfall by the agency that oversees the stadiums for the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Pacers. On Monday, Ballard also said he wants the NFL and NBA franchises to chip in $5 million each, as a previous proposal called for, and wants to expand a local Professional Sports Development Authority district to capture $8.8 million in sales and income taxes…

…Lew Wolff, a long-time real estate developer and part owner of the Oakland A’s, is confident that he can make a go of professional soccer in the South Bay, an effort that has been tried unsuccessfully in the past. In the second year of the new franchise, major progress is being made toward construction of a new stadium. Recently, in a nod to the stagnant economy, San Jose officials sliced more than $40 million off a land deal they signed last year with Wolff and his partners.

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