Tuesday, February 28, 2006

NHL's take and possible private funding plan in Pittsburgh

OK, so the NHL, Pittsburgh's Mayor and the Allegheny County Chief Executive met about an alternative arena proposal and have agreed to improve communication.

However, the league came out in support of the Penguins/Isle of Capri proposal and suggested "local leaders get behind the existing arena funding plan".

NHL committed to helping Pens solve arena issue

To be honest, I don't know how this affects whether the Penguins move or not. Things will really start happening in June.

You can't say people in Pittsburgh aren't trying to find creative ways to finance a new arena.

A conservative think tank proposes creating an "arena corporation" to find private money to fund a new arena for the city.

Possible avenues for private money, the institute said, included the issuance of shares in the corporation or the recruitment of investor partners and the sale of naming rights, with a goal of raising $100 million to $150 million from those sources.

Other revenues for financing the arena, which is expected to cost about $300 million, could be generated through the sale of seat licenses, luxury box rentals, concessions, in-arena advertising and event fees.


The Penguins say they already have a plan to privately fund an arena.

Funny...because they do...the only problem with the Penguins proposal is that it isn't lining the Governor's pockets.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Plan B in the works

It's tough to say which direction this situation is going to go.

One day it looks like the Penguins are doomed in Pittsburgh and that the team will definitely move.

The next day it looks like Pittburgh will do whatever it takes to keep the team.

This article is particularly interesting because, for the last six weeks, it has looked like a Plan B was not a possibility -- that it was the Penguins/IofC proposal or nothing.

Now, state and local officials say they are working on a Plan B, without the Penguins input. The key here is that the Penguins cannot work on a Plan B. It is part of their contract with IofC.

Penguins officials maintain they cannot discuss an alternate plan with elected officials during the licensing process.


Of course they can't. Why would IofC enter into an agreement with the Penguins if the team could just work on a publicly financed arena at the same time? The arena is the cornerstone for IofC's proposal and they want to protect their interests.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Penguins' stay in Pittsburgh looking iffy

Tim Panaccio, a very well-respected hockey writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, chimes in on the Penguins arena situation.

Panaccio gives a view from outside Pittsburgh, which is pretty gloomy for the Pens fans.

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.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

NHL's Daly says Pens must resolve arena issue

Now, Bill Daly, the NHL's Deputy Commissioner, says the Pens must resolve the arena issue within months or the team will look at other options.

"The time window for the Penguins to get financing on a new arena is short. I believe the city of Pittsburgh deserves to have the Penguins, but the Penguins also need a new building and they've needed a new one for years," Daly said.


Part of the problem is that when Mario rescued the team from bankruptcy seven years ago, he was promised a new arena...well, was told the city and Allegheny County would look at finding a way to get a new arena.

Nothing has happened for seven years. Now, the Penguins have a plan, but it's tied to the decision of seven people (the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board). Fans and residents of Pittsburgh have no say in the matter.

As usual, KC is mentioned as a possible relocation destination. This time with a twist. The reporter added the fact that Paul McGannon and NHL21 have approached the Penguins about playing the Blues on September 30 at Kemper.

Kansas City, Mo.; Portland, Ore.; and Houston are among the cities looking to acquire the Penguins if they leave Pittsburgh, their only home since beginning play as an expansion franchise in 1967. Kansas City wants the Penguins to play one of their preseason games there next season.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Team USA & the 2006 Olympic Hockey Tournament

"I'm not looking for the best players. I'm looking for the right ones" -- Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks in the movie Miracle.

Didn't Don Waddell watch this movie before choosing Team USA?

He may have chosen the best players.

He certainly didn't choose the right ones.

Ryan Miller is at home in Buffalo. There is no excuse for this what-so-ever.

Chris Chelios, though a stand-up guy and loyal Team USA member, should be a figurehead on this team only. His game is no longer fit for the International ice.

Tony Amonte, Brian Leetch and Jeremy Roenick are a veteran players who were loyal to Team USA, yet they were left home. Chelly should be home, too.

Derian Hatcher also doesn't belong. He's too slow for the NHL, must less International hockey.

Who should replace them?
Bret Hedican was a late addition. He should have been on the original roster.
Joe Corvo would help. He's a speed guy and a strong offensive defenseman.
Ryan Suter belongs on this team. THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND ABOUT THIS. He's played the International game recently. His game is fit for the bigger ice and he has already proven he is one of the top young defenseman in the NHL.

I really don't have a problem with the forwards on this roster. The two guys I think should be in Italy are Jeff Halpern and Tim Connolly. Halpern a face-off and defensive specialist who would help against the Russian, Slovakian and Swedish power play units. Connelly is a speed player. He creates opportunities with his speed and would be perfect for the wider ice, less hitting style of Olympic play.

Bryan Burwell, a terrific writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, nailed it. Team USA is a poorly constructed, second-rate outfit. Whereas, Team Canada constructs their team and treats them like Gold Medalists, before they even hit the ice.
Real zombies aren't on ice; they oversee USA Hockey


Team USA didn't fly a charter like Team Canada. They flew commercial from scattered parts of the country.

As opposed to Dan Wetzel, who totally missed the boat, blaming Gary Bettman. What does Gary Bettman have to do with choosing the wrong goaltenders, not chartering a flight to Italy and not choosing the right players for International-style play?

Time to pull plug on pros

I have no clue why Wetzel has such a problem with "pros" in the Olympics. Did he have such a problem after the 2002 appearance in the finals?

He speaks of our silver medal performance and the league's shutdown in the same breath. I have no idea how the two relate. The league's shut down was about cost certainty and viability of the small US and Canadian markets. NHLers appearing in the Olympics neither caused nor attempted to stave off the potential lockout.

If Team USA continues to play mediocre hockey, it will have nothing to do with "pros" in the Olympics. Team USA needs the "right" pros in order to repeat their 2002 appearance in the final game.

Seattle and Sonics in a stare down

The fight between the Seattle City Council and the Sonics is heating up. Here are some interesting articles from the last three days.

A response to Howard Schultz
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/levesque/259553_leve15.html

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/basketball/259749_keyarena16.html

Interesting article about a recent Seattle City Council committee meeting. An analyst for the Seattle City Council said that a professional sports teams' most valuable asset, next to its players, is its arena lease.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Five former KC Blades in Olympic tourney

The Olympic Hockey Tournament is the best hockey tournament in the world. It is akin to the World Cup of Soccer, which is coming this summer.

Five former Kansas City Blades are playing in this year's Olympic Tournament.

Latvia -- Arturs Irbe, Viktors Ignatjevs, Sandis Ozolinsh
Italy -- Jason Cirone
Russia -- Viktor Kozlov


The Blades history is slowly fading. The Sharks roster is completely void of former Blades.

The Sharks do, however, have headshots of every single player that ever put on a Blades roster. It's cool to go to the Shark tank and see photos of J.F. Quintin, Gary Emmons, Kenny Hammond, Jaroslov Otevrel and so many other Blades we loved watching.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Could we keep the Sonics name?

Click the headline for the link to a story in the Seattle Times.

I'm stunned. The Seattle City Council President came out and said the City owned Key Arena could be profitable without the Sonics.

The scenario that Key Arena could make a profit isn't without some cost.

Seattle Center staff told the mayor's task force that KeyArena needs $20 million in renovations to attract the mix of events that would produce a profit. Fixes would include improved dressing rooms, catering areas, technology upgrades and a $3 million curtain system that would help convert KeyArena into a 5,000- to 7,000-seat concert hall.


Hey Mr. Licata, come to KC and see if our city owned arena was/is profitable without a NBA, NHL or AHL team. And, Seattle doesn't even have the American Royal to lean on.

The Sonics asked for $200 million in renovations to expand the arena and add restaurants, etc. The team says if they dont' get the renovations to a the 10-year old building they will have to look at relocating.

KC is a possibility for relocation, but building an arena in Bellevue, WA is a possibility, too.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Voice of Steelers endorses Pens slots proposal

Myron Cope, the former voice of the Steelers, wrote a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (again, how great would it be to have competing newspapers?)

Cope is a Pittsburgh icon and has made his feelings known on the slots parlor/arena deal.

You need to scroll half-way down on this link to see Cope's letter.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06039/651691.stm"

I still have no idea what will happen in Pittsburgh. On one hand I think public sentiment will sway the Governor and political leaders in Pittsburgh to "find a way" to get a new arena with slots revenues. On the other hand, I think Harrah's, with their massive financial and political influence, will win the slots parlor license and the Penguins will say bye-bye to the Iron City.

NBA or NHL -- KC has stiff competition

The Sprint Center will be ready in 2007. Whether KC gets an NBA team, NHL team or neither is very up in the air.

The competition is fierce. Oklahoma City is proving a viable market for the NBA. As of February 7, the OKC Hornets are drawing 17,805 fans per game, an improvement of more than 4,000 from last season in New Orleans.

A week ago, Stern announced the team would play 35 games at the Ford Center in 2006-07, but said he hoped the team will return to New Orleans full time in 2007-08.


OKC courting Sonics

If it is an NHL team that is ready to relocate, KC must fight with Houston, Winnipeg and, possibly, Hamilton, Onatrio for the relocation city. Hamilton may have trouble because it is considered within the Toronto Maple Leafs immediate market.

And we know Las Vegas is courting either a NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball team. It is the home of a future NBA All-Star Game.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The failure of the Kansas City Knights means no NBA

(no links...just opinion in this post)

The Kansas City Knights, a minor league professional basketball franchise in Kansas City, was a tremendous failure.

They played at Kemper and nobody went.
They moved to Hale Arena and nobody went.
They moved to Johnson County Community College to try to appeal to Johnson County families and nobody went.

Does that mean that an NBA team won’t come to KC?

OF COURSE NOT

The failure of a minor league team, whether it is the Knights, Sizzlers, Outlaws or Blades, has absolutely no bearing on whether an NHL or NBA team comes to KC.

The promotion, marketing and sales organization of a minor league team is vastly different than that of a NHL or NBA team. The high-profile of the players, and subsequent media attention, provides an NHL or NBA team with instant fan interest.

A minor league team will need to build a brand and spend a significant amount of money to increase awareness. An NBA or NHL team can use strategic public relations and the resulting media attention to increase awareness without spending much money.

Remember, a team (like any product) cannot succeed without successful marketing. An NBA or NHL team will have a great deal more money, and I suspect a larger, more experienced marketing organization behind it.

To say the failure of a minor league team has any influence on whether an NHL or NBA team comes to Kansas City is absolute nonsense.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Bettman: New arena or 'no question' Pens will go

"We never want to move a franchise, but the team's lease expires in a year and if there's no new building, there's no way this club can have any future in Pittsburgh," Bettman said during a radio interview with Penguins announcer Paul Steigerwald on Wednesday in New York.

Bettman has put the cards on the table. The NHL, yes it may be greed, wants to the Penguins to play in a new arena with the additional revenue such an arena would generate.

Remember, this is not a professional sports franchise holding a city hostage. The Pens simply want the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to fairly consider their slots parlor license proposal, which includes a new arena, not just for the Penguins, but for the city. The Penguins are up against a real gaming heavyweight, Harrah's Entertainment.

KC is one of the cities to which the Penguins may move.

This blog was set up to follow what is unfolding. Whether the Pens move, and whether KC is the city of choice, will break in this calendar year.

I will continue to follow it closely, provide links and try to keep you up-to-date.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Pittsburgh Governor says the Penguins won’t talk to him about an arena.

Great editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“But don't fault the Penguins for not talking about how to fund a new arena. They've been ready to talk for years.”

As noted in a previous post, the Pennsylvania Governor wants to talk with the Pens about a Plan B for a new arena (should the Penguins not receive the slots parlor license). However, he says the Pens won’t discuss it with him. The Penguins entered an exclusive agreement with Isle of Capri casino that said they could not negotiate a Plan B. A smart move by IoC to protect the integrity of their proposal since it is tied to an arena.

Interesting how the Governor never attempted to engage the Penguins in arena discussions, for the entire seven years of Mario’s ownership, until AFTER the Pens had an exclusive agreement with Isle of Capri.

Now, after the Penguins have an agreement NOT to talk about a Plan B, the Governor said yesterday on Pittsbrugh’s ESPN1250, “Hey, I’ll talk to the Pens about a Plan B, but they won’t talk to me.” He’s trying to make the Pens look like the bad guys.

Can you see how disingenuous this guy is?

Like him or hate him, you must admit 810’s Kevin Keitzman (a bit of a conspiracy theorist) follows this type of backdoor politics in Kansas City very closely. If this back-and-forth was happening in Kansas City, Keitzman’s head would explode.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

SI says Sonics may move to KC

SI writer Ian Thomsen says the Seattle Sonics could be on the move if, (have we heard this before), they don't get a new arena. The building they play in is 10 years old, 10!

The article is in the February 6 issue and is available online as exclusive content

"One of those alternatives would be to investigate the construction of a privately built arena in Greater Seattle, perhaps in suburban Bellevue. Another would be to move the Sonics to a market known to be interested in acquiring an NBA franchise (Las Vegas, Norfolk, Oklahoma City) or to one of the three cities -- Anaheim, Kansas City and San Jose -- that, according to team sources, have privately made overtures to Sonics officials"
This is bad news for NHL fans in KC. If an NBA team comes to KC, there will be no hockey.

Unlike the Pens, we'll know the Sonics fate in three weeks.



Is the NHL coming to KC?


IT’S TIME FOR FACTS RATHER THAN POSTURING

(the first post is quite long, sorry)
The announcement of Kansas City’s Sprint Center, a beautiful 18,500 seat downtown arena, has spurred speculation of either an NBA or NHL making the arena home.

The purpose of this blog is to follow the drama that is unfolding surrounding an NHL team coming to KC.

No flowing prose. No quotes from NHL21. No posturing from parties involved on either side.
Just factual information (and my opinions…but mostly facts)

This will be a long, slow, drawn-out process over the next 8 – 10 months.
The situation is constantly changing, evolving, and I will try to provide you with links to stories from around the country that mention
Kansas City and the NHL.

The Pittsburgh Penguins seem to be a likely candidate to move from their current home, the outdate Mellon Arena, to the Sprint Center.
If one oversimplifies the situation, as some
Kansas City journalists have done, yes it seems the Penguins are a likely candidate to relocate. However, it is much more complicated.

Here is the bottom line to the entire situation:

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins are officially for sale. Their current ownership, Hall of Fame player Mario Lemeuix and a group of investors will not move the Penguins. However, a new ownership group might.
  • The current ownership says that in order for the team to survive in Pittsburgh they must have a new arena in which to play. Mellon Arena is the oldest arena in the NHL.
  • The Penguins ownership is NOT holding the city hostage for public money for a new arena.
  • The Penguins are bidding for one of five slots parlor licenses in Pennsylvania. The state approved slots gambling at 14 locations throughout the state (seven racetracks, five parlors and two resorts). One of the parlor licenses will go to the Pittsburgh area. The Penguins, in partnership with Isle of Capri Casinos, has entered a proposal for the Pittsbrugh slots parlor license. The team has said that they will use their portion of the slots parlor revenue to fund a new arena in the lower Hill district (near the current Mellon Arena).
  • The Penguins are in a serious battle for the Pittsburgh slots license with a heavyweight champion, Harrah’s Casinos, the largest gaming company in the U.S. Rumor has it that Harrah’s Casinos is the preferred choice of Democratic Governor Ed Rendell.
  • As part of the sale of the franchise, the new owners must agree to honor the partnership with Isle of Capri Casinos. If the Penguins/IOC is awarded the slots parlor license, the new owner must keep the team in Pittsburgh and play in the resulting arena.
  • For more information go to http://www.slotsformario.com/
  • The Penguins lease at Mellon Arena is up in 2007.
  • The slots license will be awarded in late 2006.
  • The bottom line to all this is summed up in the final paragraph in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article.
    • “The state Gaming Control Board will decide, after reviewing the proposals and holding hearings, which is best for Pittsburgh.”
  • The Penguins may start negotiating with other cities beginning June of 2006, one year from the ending of their current lease.
  • The Penguins ownership will begin taking offers for purchase of the franchise now.
  • All of this adds up to a 50/50 chance that the Penguins will stay in Pittsburgh.

KANSAS CITY MENTIONED ON HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA

On Saturday, January 23, NHL analyst and former NHL goaltender John Davidson said “…if the [Pittsburgh] Penguins move, from what I hear, the frontrunners are Kansas City, Houston, Las Vegas and Winnipeg.” This mention was on “Satellite Hot Stove” which is the segment between the second and third period of the early Hockey Night in Canada game. Of course, take this with a grain of salt because one of the other “experts” on the show said that if the “Penguins win the slots lottery” they won’t move. Slots lottery?

This isn’t a “lottery” at all. The slots license is a political football that is being kicked all over Harrisburg and, may, include some corrupt dealings with EXTREMELY powerful lobbying organizations.

Another HNIC expert said that Mark Cuban, a Pittsburgh native, could purchase the Penguins and keep them in the Iron City. No way. Cuban has said publicly that he is NOT interested in owning another professional sports franchise. He has said he is busy enough with the Mavericks, HDNet and Landmark Theaters.

Let’s take a quick look at the cities mentioned and one more that could enter the mix.

  • Houston
    • Pro – new arena and Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander expresses interest in owning an NHL team also.
    • Con – not necessarily a hockey market…may be a tough sell
  • Winnipeg
    • Pro – new arena and successful season ticket campaign for a NHL team
    • Con – EJ Hradek of ESPN.com says, even though the building, the MTS Centre, has been refurbished, it is still too small for an NHL team. Hradek says the “footprint” of the building is also small, which means the corridor, etc. are more narrow than some of the other new arenas.
    • Canadian cities add zero US TV sets, which is important to the NHL. Some in Winnipeg admit they are a long shot for an NHL return.
    • 10 years later, Jets fans still holding out for hope
  • Las Vegas
    • Pro – fastest growing city in the country may be the home of a NBA, NHL or MLB franchise within the next 10 years. Boots Delbaggio once entered into an agreement with Mario Lemeiux to purchase part of the Penguins. However, Boots says he is not interested in purchasing the team, which severely hampers Las Vegas’ effort. The rumor was Boots, a San Jose businessman, wanted to tap into the LV market.
    • Con – does not have an NHL ready arena like the other cities. Still only the #51 US TV market

MARIO SKATING OFF INTO THE SUNSET

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06019/640471.stm

Mario Lemieux seemed rejuvenated when the Penguins won the post-lockout lottery and won the right to draft Sidney Crosby. Mr. Lemieux had met and played pick-up games with Crosby in the past. Mr. Lemieux knew and liked Sid the Kid and was thrilled with the opportunity to play with him. Mr. Lemieux invited the young superstar to live in his house in order to make Sid the Kid’s transition to the NHL smooth and to make sure the kid didn’t fall victim to increase fame and fortune at such a young age.
Penguins fans responded and purchased season and individual tickets in record numbers. Mr. Lemieux responded by spending money on free agents like Sergei Gonchar, John LeClair, Zigmund Palffy and Jocelyn Thibault.
Mr. Lemieux good friend, Ed Olcyk, was named the head coach.
Things were going very well for Mario.
Then, the team started very poorly. Gonchar forgot how to play defense. Thibault wasn’t sharp as a result of the layoff and previous injuries. The game had passed John LeClair by.
On top of the team playing poorly, the Penguins organization was losing the political battle that is developing around
Pittsburgh’s new arena and the Pittsburgh-area slots license.
Mr. Lemieux started suffering from an irregular heartbeat, a scary condition for a man with a beautiful, young family.
So, Mr. Lemieux has decided to ride of into the sunset, relinquish his duties as CEO of the organization and, possibly, sell the team and wash his hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Mr. Lemieux will remain a legend in
Pittsburgh. He brought the team two Stanley Cups, came back from Hodgkin’s Disease to play again, rescued the team from bankruptcy, runs legendary charitable organizations in Western Pennsylvania and did all he could to replace Pittsburgh’s outdated arena. In the end, he won Stanley Cups, but couldn’t win political battles.
Kansas City may be the Penguins new home. The Penguins may remain in Pittsburgh. Either way, Lemieux seems to be singing “Happy Trails”.

HOW KC CAN GET THE NHL

Step 1 – build a new arena
CHECK – New Sprint Center opening in 2007

Step 2A – a current NHL team must be put up for sale
CHECK – Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues are for sale.

Step 2B – a current NHL must decide their facility and the market in which they play is inadequate. The team ownership must believe KC and the
Sprint Center is a viable replacement.
UNLIKELY

Step 3 – A party must buy a NHL team with the purpose of moving that team to KC.
Not complete – It is possible Pittsburgh fits this step. It is NOT possible for St. Louis to fit this step because the sale of the team includes $60 million debt service on the Savvis Center, essentially increasing the price of the team by nearly 60%. The Blues are NOT going to move from St. Louis.

Step 4 – Provide the prospective NHL team with a lease agreement that allows the team to be extraordinarily profitable in a medium-sized market like Kansas City. A team in Houston would, most likely, generate more revenue because of higher prices for luxury boxes, sponsorship and radio/TV contracts.

PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR SAYS PENS SHOULD HAVE A PLAN B

Shelly Anderson from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette appeared on NHL Live this morning with Joe Tolleson and Zig Fricasi. NHL Live is a daily two-hour hockey talk show on Sirius satellite radio and http://www.nhl.com/.

She said that it appears the Penguins have no control over politics. Their future is in the hands of politicians. There is no doubt that the city of
Pittsburgh needs a new arena, whether it be for the NHL or concerts or conventions. The Penguins want to help the city, and themselves, by building an arena with slots parlor profits, not taxpayer money, but slots parlor revenue.

She said it is obvious promises have been made to casino operators. What those promises are is not known.

The Governor doesn’t seem to be on the Penguins side. He says they should have a “Plan B” in place for getting a new arena in Pittsburgh. The Governor, a Philadelphia native, suggests doing something like what was done in Philly with Wachovia Center. Most of the $206 million for Wachovia Center came through private money. The state provided money in upgrade the infrastructure around the new arena.

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/s_415951.html

THE PENGUINS BIGGEST RIVAL

It is not the Flyers

It is Harrah’s Station Square Casino

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (how great would it be to have two COMPETING newspapers) has an interesting article on the Harrah’s Station Square Casino proposal (the main competition for the Penguins/Isle of Capri Casino proposal). Harrah’s is the largest gaming firm in the U.S.

It’s an impressive proposal, $1 billion, with a hotel and condos. However, Pittsburgh doesn’t need condos. It needs an arena.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/pittsburgh/s_416323.html/

There are also a two good articles from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06024/643184.stm

This article is especially interesting because it compares the four proposals for the Pittsburgh slots license. Basically, there are two heavyweight proposals and two longshot proposals.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06024/643185.stm

If you are a Pens fan and believe the license should be awarded to Penguins/IOC, then this Harrah’s proposal looks weak.
If you are a state politician, looking for kick-backs and campaign contributions, this looks like a great proposal.

This stuff about created a “new neighborhood” is such crap. Yeah, the four casinos in Kansas City have really created new neighborhoods.

TAXPAYER MONEY OR PRIVATE MONEY – PENN. GOVERNOR SUGGESTS PUBLIC MONEY PLAN

In a really odd twist, which wouldn’t happen anywhere else, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is suggesting the Pittsburgh Penguins come up with a Plan B for financing a new arena – one which includes public money.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06027/645224.stm

Let me get this straight…

Municipalities and taxpayers across the country are saying “put the burden on these billionaire sports franchise owners to build, or at least partially finance, their own arenas/stadiums.” The Cardinals put up money in St. Louis. The Chiefs and Royals are willing to put up money in Kansas City.

And, in Pittsburgh, the Penguins are doing just that. The Penguins have a plan which involves $0 taxpayer money for a $290 million arena.

Yet, the State’s Governor, is suggesting the Penguins come up with a plan that involves taxpayer money.

It’s financing-an-arena bizarro world.

Comments like this one seem to swing it to 60-40 the Pens will move.

KC MAY GET AN NHL TEAM AS A RESULT OF INSIDE POLITICS IN THE PENNSYLVANIA STATEHOUSE

If KC gets the Penguins, hockey fans in KC should have a jersey retired in Ed Rendell’s name because the only reason why we are in the running to get the Pittsburgh Penguins is because of Ed Rendell’s disingenuous actions.

We, Kansas City, are not contributing to the corruption oozing from this situation (the Pittsburgh slots parlor license), yet we would benefit from it.

Is that wrong?