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Pittsburgh Tribune Review
September 26, 2013 Thursday
307 words
Ice arena nears grand opening

UNIVERSITY PARK - After contributing $102 million to build an ice arena and a pair of Division I hockey teams to play in it, billionaire Penn State alumnus Terry Pegula hasn't set foot in the 6,000-seat facility for 11 months. Pegula has elected to be wowed the same day as the rest of an eager Penn State hockey community.

"Every time I talk to him and plead with him to come see what we've built, he says, ‘Ehh, why spoil it?' " Penn State associate athletic director Joe Battista said. "‘I'll wait for the wedding night.' "

After decades of unfulfilled hope when it comes to a state-of-the-art hockey facility at Penn State, the consummation comes when the puck drops Oct. 11 between the Nittany Lions men's team and Army. The 6,014 people expected to pack the rink that night will be treated to a building with amenities NHL teams would envy.

"This building, we think, is going to be the premier college hockey facility in North America," Battista said. "(Pegula and wife Kim) also asked us to make it the fastest, hardest ice surface in North America."

The varsity rink will host national figure skating acts as well as high school, youth and recreational hockey leagues and tournaments.

Student tickets for the PSU men's team, which will play its first season in the Big Ten, sold out in minutes earlier this month. Only 22 single-season tickets remain in the regular seating bowl, although the Nittany Lions will sell 200 seats and 200 standing-room-only tickets on an game-by-game basis.

"My bold prediction would be that people will fall in love with this building. They are going to fall in love with hockey as a sport, and they are going to fall in love with the teams that we've got out there," Battista said.

Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

September 28, 2013

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