Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pittsburgh -- Rendell's hot seat

A couple good articles from Pennsylvania papers paint the picture of what is going on now that we are getting closer to the end of the Penguins season and the end of their lease.

Rendell expects hockey arena deal

This makes it sound like something will get done in Pittsburgh, regardless of the arena vote.

I’ll say it again, this is simply a move to put the blame on the Penguins new ownership if the team moves. The governor can say, “We tried to find a solution, but the Penguins wouldn’t negotiate with us…it was the arena deal or nothing.”

However, read this article in the Philly Inquirer, Rendell’s hometown paper. Remember, Rendell was Philadelphia’s mayor and has been called, “Governor of Philadelphia”.

(see, it isn’t just KCMo people that fight with cities on the other side of states)

A city that takes sports seriously presses Rendell for a new arena

Fair or not, it is a sentiment echoed in pockets across the city as the question of how - and whether - a new hockey arena should be financed festers without a solution. It has the potential to hurt Rendell on Election Day. And some analysts say that losing Pittsburgh could translate into a statewide loss for him.

There it is.

That is the first time I’ve seen it in writing. Rendell needs to win Pittsburgh to win re-election. Therefore, his ridiculous, disingenuous promises to Penguins fans that he will come up with a “Plan B” seem more and more transparent.

The guy wants to win an election, not find a solution for Pittsburgh’s arena problem.

And, other Rendell supporters add, the governor has delivered some major wins to Pittsburgh, including helping the city get its troubled finances in order, and sending millions of dollars to its distressed transit system and to clean up brownfields and repair infrastructure at the city's airport.

And yet, Rendell wants to come up with a “Plan B” that involves taxpayer and public money for a new arena which could put Pittsburgh’s finances right back in the “troubled” category.

I still say whether the Penguins stay in Pittsburgh is a toss-up. It could go either way. However, I'm fairly confident that if they do decide to leave Pittsburgh, they will come here. I don't think the other markets have the clout the comes with AEG operating The Sprint Center.


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