Sunday, February 19, 2006

Post-Gazette says ANY slots parlor license should include new arena

If you live in Kansas City, you could reap the rewards of backdoor politics and inept leadership.

Without a new arena, the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins could leave the Steel City. Kansas City, with a new arena under construction, could be the team's new home.

The new arena is a political football that is being kicked all over the home of the Super Bowl Champions.

Now, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's editorial board think all plans should include a new arena.

We'll say this, however: Harrah's/Forest City and Mr. Barden should amend their plans to direct funding to build Pittsburgh a new arena. And the Gaming Control Board should look unkindly on proposals that fail to include such revenue. The city's need and opportunity to get a privately funded arena from the gambling license is simply too good to pass up.

The Penguins are up for sale. Let's say the Penguins do not get the slots license, but the group that is awarded the slots license, for arguments sake let's say Harrah's/Forest City, is required to fund a new arena.

Why would the new owners want to wait for a group that is being arm-barred into building a new arena to provide the funding? This smells like a potential law suit and the Penguins playing in Mellon Arena for at least four more years. A new owner wouldn't want to do that.

The Penguins and the Isle of Capri are pledging to address one of the city's greatest needs -- and are also, of course, promising the casino, the surrounding development and the tax revenue that are expected of any casino applicant.

If the other applicants want to stay in the game, they should address that need as well.

If the Penguins aren't awarded the slots license, they are gone.


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