No football at arena until at least 2020 – News – Citizens Voice


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THE CITIZENS’ VOICE FILE Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Twp. is listed as the home venue for the National Gridiron League’s Pennsylvania Pioneers.


WILKES-BARRE TWP. — There will be no professional football at Mohegan Sun Arena until next year at the earliest, officials announced at Wednesday’s meeting of the Luzerne County Convention Center Authority.


The website of the Pennsylvania Pioneers, of the fledgling National Gridiron League, lists the arena as the team’s home venue.


However, no deal has been finalized between the Pioneers and the arena, and the league has postponed its first planned season until 2020, officials said Wednesday.


A news release posted to the National Gridiron League website states that the league, “with the recommendation of industry experts will continue promotional efforts in preparation of the league’s 2020 season.”


The news release cites the recent folding of the Alliance of American Football as one reason for the delay in the league’s “kickoff season,” which had been planned for this year.


Also on Wednesday, the authority board announced that Brian Sipe has resigned as general manager of Mohegan Sun Arena.


 


Sipe, who was named the arena’s general manager in October 2014, will start a new position as director of booking at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.


Carrie Grantuskas, who was appointed assistant general manager of the arena last year, will serve as acting general manager until a new general manager is appointed, said Gary Zingaretti, chairman of the authority board.


Sipe, who attended Wednesday’s board meeting, praised the arena staff and said he and his wife had a great experience during their time in the Wilkes-Barre area.


In other business:


n The arena received a $127,000 Local Share Account grant, funded by state gaming revenue, for its planned upgrade to Wi-Fi service at the arena, said Donna Cupinski, board vice chairwoman. Improved Wi-Fi service will benefit arena patrons and will allow the arena to be used as a shelter or command center in the event of an emergency, board members have said.


n The authority and SMG Management, which oversees the arena’s day-to-day operations, are close to an agreement on a new contract, according to Zingaretti. He described the negotiations as “at the one-yard line.” The current contract with SMG expires at the end of this year, Zingaretti said.


n There is no update on the authority’s negotiations with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, according to Zingaretti. The authority’s contract with the American Hockey League team, which plays its home games at the arena, expires June 30.


Contact the writer:emark@citizensvoice.com


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