WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey is staying in our area.
The deal between the team and Mohegan Sun Arena was confirmed Monday morning.
The deal ends more than a year of negotiations between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the arena.
Declining attendance for hockey games at Mohegan Sun Arena and a 10-year lease that expires at the end of June gave fans reason to be worried.
Some feared the Penguins would leave this year, seek a short-term lease with the arena and leave, either for a new arena in another community or move to a city with a larger population base.
"Very glad to hear the news that we're going to have another 10 years with the Penguins," said a fan from Kingston.
The current lease expires next month, and talks dragged on for more than a year.
Online sports blogs had the Baby Pens leaving for State College or signing a short-term lease and moving the team to Erie or a Pittsburgh suburb in three or four years.
Attendance has tapered off over the past two decades as the team has lost about one-third of its regular fans. But the fans who've stayed remain loyal and attendance remains slightly above the league average.
"You still have to support the team because it's a part of our community," said Scott Jabloski.
We caught up with fans at Miller's Ale House, a business a block away from the arena that gets a bump in business before and after all home hockey games.
One longtime season ticket holder says she'll renew.
"But if they did some other team that they said would have to come in, no!"
The team officials say the deal could lead to a boost in season ticket sales and corporate sponsorships.
Fans at the Penguins store on Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre can now buy gear that won't soon be obsolete.
"The Penguins are a big draw for the community and they're a great team. They're exciting and I'm glad they re-signed," said Alison Zurawski.