Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pittsburgh arena is hot button political issue in Governor's race -- Portland news, too

What's the latest?

Here's my take.

It's looking bad for KC's chances of luring the Penguins. On March 28, 2006, I say it is 75% the Pens stay and 25% the Pens relocate.

Portland is also in trouble, but I don't think they are going to move, either.

It is really hitting the fan in Pittsburgh.

Pens' allies rip other casino plan

Today, Lynn Swann, potential Republican candidate for Governor, will hold a press conference to endorse the Penguins/IofC proposal for a new multi-purpose arena in the Steel City


Because tomorrow incumbent Governor Ed Rendell will announce his "Plan B" for an arena should the gaming/slots license go to a party other than Penguins/IofC.

Rendell's proposal involved public money. The proposal Swann supports does not.

Swann's handlers are making a very shrewd political move by endorsing the Penguins/IofC plan one day before Rendell's announcement.

Also, it is VERY obvious that Forest City/Harrah's, the group that is the Penguins prime rival fo r the slots casino, padded their numbers to astronomic proportions on their application.

Is there really any way a Pittsburgh slots casino would bring in more than double our Harrah's casino?

How does this effect Kansas City?

Well, it's fairly obvious that Pittsburgh/Alleghany County is going to do whatever it takes to get a new arena. It doesn't look like the Penguins will relocate.

Portland may relocate because Paul Allen has a bad arena deal after his arena management company filed for bankruptcy.

Paul Allen is having discussions with the city over a new lease agreement. The one the Blazers have now doesn't allow for any revenue from the "money making" seats on the lower level and club seats. The lease was restructured when Paul Allen's arena management company filed for bankruptcy.
Allen calls Blazers' discussions with city, mayor 'productive'

But, a Portland columnist is calling Allen's bluff...saying the bondholders flopped a nut straight and hold all the cards.

See how Mr. Allen blows his own bluff

"I believe Allen’s motive is to foster an atmosphere of uncertainty around the team that would panic the bondholders into giving him back the arena at a reduced price. At one point during the Sunday interview, Allen raised the specter of the team moving out of Portland, but when asked to give a scenario that could allow such a move, Allen offered up the possibility of selling the team. Sorry, Paul, that’s covered in the Exclusive Site Agreement you personally signed with the city. You even guaranteed that if you sold the team, the new owners couldn’t move the franchise."

Best alternative is for Allen to sell the Blazers according to former team president

"Once the Rose Garden opened, there were some pretty good years. Then I started noticing changes in the way the Blazers managed their business. These changes were not only reflected in the poor character of many of the players they brought in, but also in how management responded (or didn't respond). "

SEE!!! As I have said all along, it's not the building in which a team plays, but the way it is run that makes it successful. Do you hear that David Glass?

This is why it is ridiculous to blame fans for at teams' failure i.e. the KC Knights, Attack or Outlaws.

"The best solution for all concerned would be for Paul Allen to sell the team to people who understand that owning Portland's only major league team is a privilege. I would imagine any buyer would insist that his purchase is subject to once again aligning the interests of the Blazers and the Rose Garden.

In that case, I would encourage the city and the lenders to work with a new owner and find a solution that can work for all parties. In return, the Portland community should expect a new owner who will be the caretaker of the community's franchise, whose mission is to make Portland proud. If they do that, the financial part will take care of itself. "


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