Tuesday, May 09, 2006

KC Star story on Penguins to KC

A day after a story in the Toronto Star (see below), here is the link to Randy Covitz' story.
March of (hockey) Penguins to KC?

And, now, here is my breakdown.

All-in-all a good story. However, I have a couple of problems with it.

"The Penguins play in antiquated Mellon Arena, and their lease expires at the end of the 2006-07 season. The franchise has struggled in recent years with revenues and attendance"

OK, yes, the team has struggled financially, but the Penguins FAR from struggled with attendance in 2005-06. The Penguins were #20 in NHL attendance at 15,804 per game which is 93.2% of capacity. The league average was 91.2% of capacity. Remember, the Penguins may have had Sidney Crosby last season, but they were HORRIBLE, second worst record in the NHL. Putting butts in 93.2% of seats for a really bad team is pretty good.

"The main hope for funding a new arena in Pittsburgh would be through granting the city one of the state’s 14 licenses for slot machines. That decision by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is due by the end of the year. All three companies applying for a license have promised to chip in money toward a new arena. Isle of Capri Casinos has gone a step further, saying it would pay $290 million for a new arena if it wins the license."

Yes, that is the main hope, but Covitz fails to mention the Governor's Plan B. Click here to read more about it.

In a nutshell, the Governor's Plan B calls for upfront money from the Penguins, plus a few million per year. Then, $7 mil per year from whomever is awarded the slots license, money from naming rights and paying off the rest of the $291 mil bond from a tax on the state's slots parlors.

The Plan B still has not received buy-in from Harrah's/Forest City, one of the potential slots licensees.

"He also speaks almost daily with Paul McGannon, president of NHL21, the local group dedicated to bringing the NHL to Kansas City."

OK, this is good for KC. McGannon really is doing a good job, especially since he and Tom Reiger stopped talking about the CHL.


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