Penguins Building New Sports Complex
Plans are in place for the Pittsburgh Penguins to build a cutting edge practice rink in Cranberry.
"It's really going to be a one-of-the-kind in the country," said Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan.
The proposed 150,000-square-foot complex would offer hockey-related training and injury treatment and prevention.
McMillan said the facility would be similar in nature to the UPMC sports performance complex on Pittsburgh's South Side, which is used by the Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh and includes sports medicine, practice and training facilities
With its attachment to an NHL team and the hospital, the hockey-focused complex would be the first of its kind, McMillan said. He added the team looked across the country to find a similar facility to serve as inspiration for the planned center and found none.
"The opportunity to be on the cutting edge is really exciting," he said. "There are endless possiblities. This isn’t just a practice rink. The performance center is what I think will really make it unique."
The training and rehabilitation services that will be offered at the facility should make it a top destination for athletes all over the country, as well as locally, he said.
And you might just catch a glimpse of hockey superstars Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
McMillan said when the ice isn't available at the Consol Energy Center, the Penguins would use the new rink. And hockey fans from throughout the region welcome there, too.
Development camps for Penguins hockey prospects, skating classes, public skating session and other programs geared towards teaching youngsters how to play hockey would be hosted at the center. The team-sponsored Pittsburgh Penguins Elite youth hockey program also would call the rink home.
"The public will use it much more than we will," McMillan said.
The goal is to have the facility open by the summer of 2014, said UPMC spokeswoman Susan Manko.
But first, Cranberry Township must give its approval.
McMillan said the team and UPMC plan to meet soon with township staff members to review the plans. Because the development still is conceptual, there are no renderings of the proposed facility, he said.
"We're in the early stages of this and we want to be good partners and we know and want to go through every step in that public processs," he said of meeting with the township. "We're really optimistic and excited about it."
UPMC would build and own the Cranberry center, and the Pens would lease the ice rink and other facilities from the hospital, he said.