Lease deal at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza awaits Penguins’ signature

By Jerry Lynott - [email protected]
The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Times Leader file photo The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Times Leader file photo -

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — The Luzerne County Convention Center Authority inched closer to securing a new contract with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey team to have the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza the team’s home ice for another 10 years.

At its regularly scheduled monthly meeting Wednesday the 11 board members of the authority unanimously approved a resolution to execute the agreement.

“I am pleased to say that we have a contract completed and it will be signed today, with your blessing, on our behalf and provided to the Penguins,” said Gary Zingaretti, authority chairman.

The two sides agreed in principle months ago to extend the lease for another 10 years and have been going back and forth to get it done. A trip across the state to Pittsburgh where the National Hockey League’s Penguins play should wrap it up.

“I’m going out to Pittsburgh tomorrow night and I will get it signed on Friday,” said Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins President and CEO Jeff Barrett.

The final version much mirrors the deal announced in May to keep the Penguins as the anchor tenant in the arena where the American Hockey League franchise team has skated since 1999. WBS Hockey LP, which owns the franchise and signed the initial lease, first extended for 10 years in 2009.

”Everything that’s in this agreement was what we agreed to in what I refer to as the term sheet,” Zingaretti said.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will play its first home game of the 2019-2020 season on Oct. 12 against the Utica Comets.

The authority also approved a $12,239 change order for the LED ribbon board project and the purchase of brackets for banners to be installed on the light poles in the parking lot.

The cost of the brackets is not to exceed $7,000.

Donna Cupinski, chairwoman of the authority’s Capital Improvements & Strategic Planning Committee, said the ribbon board is on schedule to be ready by the end of October. A issue cropped up requiring the replacement of Mac computer, Cupinski said.

Outfront Media LLC submitted a bid of $585,919 for the display board inside the arena. “They didn’t put it in their original bid because they thought it would be more compatible than it wound up being,” Cupinski said.

In other business, the arena will continue its “Salute to Service” suite promotion. For the fifth year, the arena, managed by SMG, and the Penguins will donate luxury suite for use by military personnel and first responders nominated by the public. They guests will also be recognized during the hockey game.

Nominations can be made online at the arena’s website www.mohegansunarenapa.com or at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSASalute2019.

The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Times Leader file photo
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/web1_TTL092917arena-1.jpgThe Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Times Leader file photo

By Jerry Lynott

[email protected]

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.