Nail in the coffin of the Pens to KC rumor
It was reported today on ESPN 1250 in Pittsburgh and in the Pittsburgh papers that Mark Cuban and Dan Marino are joining Andrew Murstein's bid to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Cuban and Marino are Pittsburgh natives. Cuban grew up in Mt. Lebanon, PA and Marino grew up in Oakland, PA. Marino also played at Pitt.
The Murstein group says they are committed to keeping the team in Pittsburgh and are willing to play in Mellon Arena. Murstein said in an interview today that other groups approached Cuban. Cuban decided to join the Murstein group because of the committment to his hometown.
Cuban wrote in an e-mail,
"To help keep the team in Pittsburgh," he wrote. "That's a condition of my participation."
The Penguins stay in Pittsburgh may not be tied to the Pittsburgh-area slots parlor license afterall. If the Murstein group buys the team, and with Cuban's passion and financial backing there is no reason to assume they won't, the team will stay.
KC Hockey fans, the KC Star, KC Business Journal, local radio and TV stations have not done a very good job of reporting this story. They have not reported, in any depth, what is actually going on and continue to sensationalize the story with headlines like "Penguins may still nest in KC". They took the comments of AEG and NHL21 at face value.
This is not a question of whether we, Kansas City sports fans, WANT the NHL or NBA.
It is a question of whether the NHL or NBA wants us. AEG says they do. In reality, it looks like we, and our wonderful new arena, are simply pawns in other cities' chess games to get new arenas or for franchises' to get better lease agreements.
A quote from today's article in the Pittsburgh paper.
The Penguins' current owners are accepting official offers this week and are expected to pick a winner in the next two weeks.
In two short weeks, this story may be dead.
The other bidders are Clarion Capital Partners, a New York private equity firm headed by managing partner Marc Utay; Ohio businessman Jim Renacci; Massachusetts real estate developer Lawrence Gottesdiener; and Toronto real estate developers David and Sam Fingold.
Only one group among these five has mentioned KC, David and Sam Fingold.
I said months ago, with the announcement of Pittsburgh's Plan B, that the Pens aren't coming. Now, I am even more confident that Sprint Center will NOT have an NHL team in 2007-08.
Can those in a position of power please start turning their attention to more realistic goals, like getting us an AHL team and, perhaps more importantly, a soccer-specific facility for the Wizards?