D-I Hockey in Pittsburgh? Penguins Hope So

The Pittsburgh Penguins have approached four area universities about being a tenant in their new arena, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

According to Tom Rooney, a member of the Penguins ownership group, Mercyhurst, located North of Pittsburgh in Erie, Pa., and currently in Division I, is not one of the schools being mentioned.

“We’ve had numerous conversations with Mercyhurst,” Rooney said to the Tribune-Review, “but we’d like a school a little closer in. That’s a school about 90 miles away.”

That leaves a number of schools in the Pittsburgh vicinity, such as the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Grove City, Robert Morris, Duquesne and Slippery Rock. None of those schools currently have a varsity hockey program, however.

The Penguins are hoping that a Division I hockey program can share the building, and presumably provide more revenue on days when the building would otherwise be dark.

“There are four schools who have definitely shown an interest,” Rooney said. “It’s our goal to get a Division I program going here. We’ve told people we would support it. It would be great to have as a secondary anchor in the building.”

Mercyhurst is already scheduled to play a game against Ohio State in the Penguins’ new arena in January, 2003.

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