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Pens arena bill swells by $31 million

A million here and a million there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money. That’s what the Pittsburgh Penguins are finding out on their new-arena construction budget.The cost of the new Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) arena is now up to $321 million, forcing the Pens, the city-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority and the state to come up with an additional $31 million.

The new arena is slated to open for the 2010-2011 season.

The new budget estimate came as a surprise to no one, as the three entities had braced themselves for some months. The original $290-million estimate came in 2005.

The current plan, which will be discussed today by the sports authority board today, the $31 million will be made up with $15.5 from the Pens, $10 million from the state and $5.5 million from the sports authority; the authority’s funds will come from interest income on the arena bonds and potentially a surcharge on tickets sold to Mellon Arena events.

More from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.