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Counselor
03-05-2007, 04:37 PM
The latest on the new arena:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/hockey/nhl/03/05/bc.hkn.penguins.arena.ap/index.html


I truly do not understand why this cannot be ironed out. The politicians need to quit talking out of their behinds and get something done.

The fact is, with or without the Pens, Pittsburgh is in need of a new "all purpose" venue---we lose tons of concerts and other events every year because Mellon Arena is old and outdated. If we keep the Pens it'll be a whole lot easier ot pay for such a venue and better for the all around economy of the city.

If Pittsburgh becomes a one sport town (I don't count the Pirates) it'll be one more sign of our decline into mediocrity as a city. Certainly it is proof of the lack of vision in the region and I am disturbed.

Prosdo
03-05-2007, 04:42 PM
Counselor well said. This arena will not just benefit the Penguins. With a new up to date arena we can start bringing in more concerts and other shows. It is hard to understand why the PA government has not reached a deal by now. Mario seems to be willing to work. Hopefully this is Mario applying pressure to the government and the lawmakers finally agree to a deal. I mean for christ sakes agreeing to this deal is win win all around.

Godfather
03-05-2007, 05:00 PM
Fat Eddie is a moron. I wouldn't even trade Haley Barbour for him.

Borski
03-05-2007, 05:08 PM
The latest on the new arena:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/hockey/nhl/03/05/bc.hkn.penguins.arena.ap/index.html


I truly do not understand why this cannot be ironed out. The politicians need to quit talking out of their behinds and get something done.

The fact is, with or without the Pens, Pittsburgh is in need of a new "all purpose" venue---we lose tons of concerts and other events every year because Mellon Arena is old and outdated. If we keep the Pens it'll be a whole lot easier ot pay for such a venue and better for the all around economy of the city.

If Pittsburgh becomes a one sport town (I don't count the Pirates) it'll be one more sign of our decline into mediocrity as a city. Certainly it is proof of the lack of vision in the region and I am disturbed.




they really need to make a better effort to keep the Pens.

Pittsburgh needs to stay a 3 sport town, Pirates included, they are and always will be part of this town. While the Pirates might not me a great team now doesn't make them not part of this town.

SteelCityMan786
03-05-2007, 05:12 PM
I say we RIOT RENDELL'S OFFICE!

Counselor
03-05-2007, 05:20 PM
I shouldn't have said that about the Pirates--you are right, they should always be a part of the city. I am just angry about a lot of things regarding baseball---from the league making no effort to keep mid/small markets competative--- to the Pirates ownership/FO doing little to help its own cause of competativeness, knowing Pirates fans will buy tix anyway. But that is a discussion for another thread since they got their ballpark already.

Back to the Pens: Clearly Ed Rendell cares nothing for the west half of the state, and the local politicans around here need to figure out how to get this arena deal done without much held or leadership from him---because if they don't, they will lose their jobs.

Prosdo
03-05-2007, 05:35 PM
Onorato said he is going to try and contact the Pens or something to that extent. Let's see how this goes.....

SteelCityMan786
03-05-2007, 05:52 PM
I shouldn't have said that about the Pirates--you are right, they should always be a part of the city. I am just angry about a lot of things regarding baseball---from the league making no effort to keep mid/small markets competative--- to the Pirates ownership/FO doing little to help its own cause of competativeness, knowing Pirates fans will buy tix anyway. But that is a discussion for another thread since they got their ballpark already.

Back to the Pens: Clearly Ed Rendell cares nothing for the west half of the state, and the local politicans around here need to figure out how to get this arena deal done without much held or leadership from him---because if they don't, they will lose their jobs.

Yep. And in 2010, we can make up for an idiotic mistake. I'll be part of that group of voters that send the idiotic Democrat(Rendell) out of office.

83-Steelers-43
03-05-2007, 05:53 PM
First it was the $10 million dollar hole that the Penguins put themselves in with IOC. Now they want the goverment officials to pay for over-run costs which is understandable. The Steelers and Pirates never had to pay for over-run costs.

Which get's back to what I've been saying, both sides are being unreasonable.

polamalufan43
03-05-2007, 06:01 PM
I really hope they come to an agreement soon. Hopfully one that invovles the Pens staying here.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

83-Steelers-43
03-05-2007, 06:21 PM
Onorato said he is going to try and contact the Pens or something to that extent. Let's see how this goes.....

According to KDKA... There will be a conference call tonight between Ono, Rendell, the mayor, the Pens and Bettman.

polamalufan43
03-05-2007, 06:25 PM
According to KDKA... There will be a confrence call tonight between Ono, Rendell, the mayor, the Pens and Bettman.

Good, I hope they can do something for them. Too many people in town have come to celebrate the Pens to actually let them leave, then again, anything can happen.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

X-Terminator
03-05-2007, 06:52 PM
From what I read in the story, it sounds like the Pens are saying that they (meaning the team) agreed to pay $120 million over 30 years and cover cost overruns, the latter having been mentioned in the past few stories on the negotiations. The Pens wanted a fixed cost of the building so that they would know the exact starting point with respect to paying the overruns. They got that. So I don't know what else could be the problem, other than Fat Eddie doing his best to screw Western PA once again.

83-Steelers-43
03-05-2007, 07:00 PM
Good, I hope they can do something for them. Too many people in town have come to celebrate the Pens to actually let them leave, then again, anything can happen.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

Amen to that. Like I said, I hope this is just your typical smoke blowing which has occured since day one of these negotiations.

Godfather
03-05-2007, 09:52 PM
Yep. And in 2010, we can make up for an idiotic mistake.

Term limits will take care of that, if all the triple cheeseburgers don't.

HometownGal
03-05-2007, 10:11 PM
Back to the Pens: Clearly Ed Rendell cares nothing for the west half of the state, and the local politicans around here need to figure out how to get this arena deal done without much held or leadership from him---because if they don't, they will lose their jobs.

Isn't that the sad truth? Dan Onorato is rumored to be interested in running for Governor when Tubby Tuba's term is up and Ravenstahl is now in a heated mayoral race with Peduto - this will not bode well for their future in PA politics, as there are Pens fans across the state. I just fired off an email to our Lt. Governor, Catherine Baker Knoll, whom I worked for over 11 years. She hails from McKees Rocks and one of her campaign schticks was to protect the interests of the people of Western PA. She has been eerily silent with regard to this situation with the Pens - we need to start bombarding all of the politicans involved (and those who should be) with emails. This is OUR team, we love 'em and we don't want to lose them under any circumstances.

From the buzz I've heard around town and on the local news channels, Mario came more than halfway to try to get a deal worked out, so I can't fault him in this mess.

X-Terminator
03-06-2007, 12:22 AM
The Trib story - pay attention to the highlighted paragraph. You mean to tell me that the Pens offered to pay $4 million a year, and the state balked at it? Absolutely freaking ridiculous. Well folks, we're now supporting a lame-duck franchise, so enjoy it while it lasts. As I have already stated, if the Pens do leave, the NHL is dead to me. I cannot and will not support them no matter where they end up. They are the PITTSBURGH PENGUINS, and that is all they should EVER BE.

Additonally, the full letter can be viewed HERE (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/images/video/2007_pdfs/0305-pens_letter.pdf).


Penguins 'aggressively explore relocation'

By Andrew Conte
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, March 5, 2007

Penguins officials today declared an impasse in negotiations for a new Uptown arena and said they will "aggressively explore relocation."

"Unfortunately, we still don't have a deal and are faced with mounting uncertainty that an agreement can be reached in a time frame that is realistic for our organization," the team said in a letter this afternoon to Gov. Ed Rendell, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

"After reading the letter, it sounds like they're frustrated, but they didn't close it all down," Onorato said, suggesting he believes there is still room to negotiate. "We'll keep moving to get this done. My goal is to get this done. I thought it was close. I thought we were moving in the right the direction."

The team had agreed to pay $3.6 million in annual rent at a new arena and $400,000 a year in additional capital expenses. But team officials said that wasn't enough to satisfy state officials. The state recently withdrew an offer for the Penguins to pay $2.86 million a year, and negotiations broke down after that, officials said.

Team officials intend to notify the National Hockey League today that they are aggressively looking to relocate.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496241.html

X-Terminator
03-06-2007, 01:17 AM
A more in-depth story on the arena negotiations from today's PG, which sheds more light on the situation. A "table-pounding" outburst from Fat Eddie? Confrontational negotiations from public officials? :wtf: More evidence that the state and Rendell don't care about Pittsburgh or the Penguins. If it were his precious Philadelphia Flyers, however, you can damn well bet a deal would have been done already without nary a hitch. I wish I could really say how I feel about this without getting in trouble, but I'll simply use these three words: Lame. Duck. Franchise. :pissed:

Oh, and BTW - to KC's Mr. Lewieke...go take a running leap into one of your many fountains and don't forget to hold your breath, because I'm not buying your :bs: one bit, you friggin thief. :countdown :ak47:

Penguins' arena negotiations on thin ice

Tuesday, March 06, 2007
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins dropped the gloves in negotiations over a new arena yesterday, declaring an impasse in the talks and saying they would "aggressively explore relocation."

The decision surprised Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, both of whom insisted they thought the two sides were close to a deal to keep the team in Pittsburgh.

But Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle painted a far different picture in a letter to Mr. Ravenstahl, Mr. Onorato and Gov. Ed Rendell, saying they still haven't been able to reach a deal even though they have agreed to pay $4 million a year toward a new arena -- the same amount demanded by public officials nearly a year ago.

"Therefore, we have no choice but to declare an impasse and to notify [National Hockey League] Commissioner Gary Bettman that we will aggressively explore relocation," the letter said. "This is a disappointing but necessary conclusion, given the uncertainty that exists as we attempt to move forward."

The decision could push the team closer to a move to Kansas City, where the Penguins have been offered the new $276 million Sprint Center rent-free with no construction costs and half the building revenues.

Toward that end, team officials may meet this week with representatives for the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which will manage the Sprint Center and share revenues with the team.

William "Boots" Del Biaggio, the California venture capitalist who has an agreement in place with AEG to run an NHL franchise at the Sprint Center in Kansas City if he can procure one, had no comment on the letter.

A source speaking on condition of anonymity said, "I just can't see them leaving Pittsburgh. I think they're still negotiating, and this is a way to get the governor's office serious about completing the final details."

AEG President Tim Lewieke told the Kansas City Star last weekend that there are dates on hold for the team, but added he would "be very surprised if Pittsburgh came Kansas City's way."

The Penguins' Mellon Arena lease expires June 30.

Declaring an impasse does not mean the team will move, and sources close to the Penguins would not rule out further talks with state and local officials.

Both Mr. Onorato and Mr. Ravenstahl vowed to reach out to the team to try to resolve the latest flare-up.

Officials were scrambling last night to try to set up a meeting with the Penguins later this week.

"At the end of the day, I think we all have the same interests in mind, and that is to get a deal done and to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh. We are prepared to sit back down as soon as possible, and that could be as long or as short as the Penguins want it to be," Mr. Ravenstahl said.

Frank Brown, a spokesman for Mr. Bettman, said the commissioner, who has been serving as a go-between in the talks, is aware of the latest developments and is in touch with the parties.

"Any further comment at this point would not be constructive," he said.

A spokesman for Mr. Rendell, who declared the two sides "very close" to a deal last week, declined comment.

The mayor wouldn't rule out an appeal to the NHL to block a move if it came to that. He said public officials didn't believe they would have to use that option because "we feel that we have a competitive deal on the table."

"But certainly, if it's something that we have to resort to as a last-ditch effort, it's something we'd certainly consider before we let the team leave," he said.

In their letter, team owners said appeals filed by Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. and Forest City Enterprises over the Pittsburgh casino license Friday "cause us great concern." Both casino license winner Don Barden and Forest City had pledged $7.5 million a year toward the arena, but that major funding source is now tied up in litigation before the state Supreme Court.

"A project of this scope, with so many complex issues, can ill afford further delays that add more risk and more uncertainty," the letter stated. "The risk has been magnified by what we perceive as a lack of collaboration from the public sector in the negotiations."

The declaration of an impasse came even though the two sides appeared to be close to agreement on major financial terms.

In addition to the $7.5 million a year committed by Mr. Barden, the state has agreed to contribute $7.5 million a year from a gambling-backed economic development fund, an increase of $500,000 over the amount originally proposed in the Plan B funding formula.

That formula initially called for the Penguins to contribute $4 million a year, including $1.16 million annually in naming rights, plus an upfront contribution of $8.5 million.

By the time state and local officials met with Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle Jan. 4, the team's share had dropped to $2.86 million a year, according to sources close to the Penguins. The upfront share would be covered by the sale of the Penguins-owned former St. Francis Central Hospital, needed for the new arena, to the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority.

The Penguins' share later increased after local officials dropped a proposal to use amusement tax revenue to raise $1.2 million a year. That pushed the team share to $3.6 million a year, plus another $400,000 annually for capital expenses. The team also has agreed to pay $500,000 a year for a parking garage to be part of the arena complex.

Sources close to the Penguins say, however, it's not so much the financial terms as it is a perceived lack of collaboration from public officials that has led to the impasse. They said the tone from the public side has been unduly adversarial for the last two months, including a table-pounding outburst by Mr. Rendell during a Jan. 18 meeting.

The last straw, according to those sources, came Friday, when state officials refused to share interest rate information with the team regarding the financing of the arena. The Penguins believe the two pots of gambling related revenues, plus their share, should be enough to pay for a $290 million arena; state officials indicated there's still a gap.

While the Penguins complained about a lack of collaboration from public officials, Mr. Onorato said public officials have sensed the same adversarial tone from the Penguins.

"I would say that our feelings would probably be the exact same as theirs but in reverse," he said. "But I just assumed that's part of negotiation and you ultimately get to a point where both sides agree."

Neither he nor Mr. Ravenstahl saw the appeals of the casino license as a major impediment, pointing out that all three applicants had agreed to help finance an arena.

In their letter, Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle said they had extended their deadline for replying to Kansas City officials by 30 days because they wanted to stay in Pittsburgh.

"Our good-faith efforts have not produced a deal, however, and have only added more anxiety to what we thought at best was a risky proposition for us moving forward," the letter stated.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07065/767149-53.stm

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 03:45 AM
Amen to that. Like I said, I hope this is just your typical smoke blowing which has occured since day one of these negotiations.

I'm starting to think that is what this is. Hopefully we are correct.

HometownGal
03-06-2007, 07:27 AM
I'm starting to think that is what this is. Hopefully we are correct.

I tend to agree, Pros. Both sides need to quit playing cat and mouse and get a darned deal done already!!!!

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 07:56 AM
Maybe I am wrong but this would be career suicide for some of the officials.

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 08:57 AM
Maybe I am wrong but this would be career suicide for some of the officials.

What scares me, is that maybe some of these goverment officials involved feel that all they have to do is simply "show" that they are "trying" to get a deal done. Whether they stay or leave it will still look like they put up a fight. The only reason why I do not believe that's the case is because it still comes down to a pro-sports team leaving this city on a young Ravenstahl and Onorato's watch. I do not believe they want that on their young resumes.

Anyways, for the most part I've kept a very positive attitude towards these negotiations. I'm still holding out hope that this is simply another example of the Penguins blowing smoke, but I do not believe they are "very close" as that crooked piece of Philly trash would have you believe. If they were "very close" I do not believe that letter would have been sent yesterday.

Eitherway, I still have faith that these two sides will reach an agreement soon.

Counselor
03-06-2007, 09:32 AM
I worked in politics for several years, and my biggest problem with the large portion of "leaders" in PA are that they are not leaders--not forward thinkers. Everything is a knee-jerk reaction to the "now" problem not a decision based on what is important long term for the region. And those are the good politicians---the bad ones are solely interested in their power and pocketbooks and they posture by banging on the table in meetings to make it look like their doing something.

So if this were the Flyers, do we think this would even be an issue? A deal would have been done last year----actually the fix would have been in for Isle of Capri.

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 09:40 AM
I worked in politics for several years, and my biggest problem with the large portion of "leaders" in PA are that they are not leaders--not forward thinkers. Everything is a knee-jerk reaction to the "now" problem not a decision based on what is important long term for the region. And those are the good politicians---the bad ones are solely interested in their power and pocketbooks and they posture by banging on the table in meetings to make it look like their doing something.

So if this were the Flyers, do we think this would even be an issue? A deal would have been done last year----actually the fix would have been in for Isle of Capri.

And that's why I laugh when Pennsylvanian's complain about Ed Rendell and continue to vote him into office. It's not as if this guy just started being a two-faced crook who only cares about Filthadelphia. It's been there all along folks.

But as I've stated in the past, if there is a "D" next to the name in this state, nothing else matters. It's a shame because this city is suffering in the process. But hey, as long as Barden got his casino and the Hill District is safe from those pesky gamblers.

On that note, how about that convention center Murphy blessed our city with shortly before he departed? The Bass tournament, car shows. Hopefully in the future we can get the 70 years of age and older Annual Bingo Tournament. That's if the thing is still standing....

Counselor
03-06-2007, 09:50 AM
But as I've stated in the past, if there is a "D" next to the name in this state, nothing else matters. It's a shame because this city is suffering in the process.

The ineptitude crosses party lines----a lot of the R's won't support something like the arena because their "knee-jerk" reaction is that its "using tax payer money for sports teams"--nevermind the economic benefit to the region both sports and non-sports related.

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 09:56 AM
The ineptitude crosses party lines----a lot of the R's won't support something like the arena because their "knee-jerk" reaction is that its "using tax payer money for sports teams"--nevermind the economic benefit to the region both sports and non-sports related.

I'm not doubting that (and you know better than I do when it comes to politics), but it hasn't been going very well with the "D's" in office. That's all I know. Maybe a change would be good. But we all know what happens when a good number in this city are confronted with change.

Who knows, maybe with a "R" the IOC would have gone through? I really can't say it would have gone through and I really can't say it would not have. All I know is that it did not and the politicians in this state seem to be on their way to screwing up this franchise and this city.

Counselor
03-06-2007, 10:05 AM
but it hasn't been going very well with the "D's" in office. That's all I know.

I'm certainly not saying you're wrong. I'm a big fan of voting for the person not the party. You're right that the problems come in where one party has singular control over a region. (D's in Pgh, R's in rural PA)

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 10:09 AM
I'm a big fan of voting for the person not the party.

:cheers:

I'm just tired of seeing this city go backwards instead of forwards. I really don't care if your a "R" or "D", all I'm saying is that it's not working out very well when it comes to the "D's" in this state/city. Maybe it's time for that dreaded Pittsburgh word, "change"?

Oh well, here's to getting a deal done in the near future even though I'm starting to get tired of stating it...:yawn:

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 10:12 AM
So what do you think counselor? I'd like to hear your opinion. Penguins and Lemieux blowing smoke? Milking the goverment for all they can? Making Fast Eddie sweat under the collar a little before they sign a deal?

Or....

Do you feel the latest news is the beginning of the end?

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 10:51 AM
I'm still holding faith that these two sides will agree. I mean Pittsburgh losing a major sports team? You are right this would look horrible on the officials resumes. As for the voting. I agree with voting for the right person. Not just the party. I am registered as a Democrat and the only reason I did that is to vote for Bobby O'Connor in the primaries. Otherwise I would be undecided or whatever category they put you under lol.

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 10:56 AM
I'm still holding faith that these two sides will agree. I mean Pittsburgh losing a major sports team? You are right this would look horrible on the officials resumes. As for the voting. I agree with voting for the right person. Not just the party. I am registered as a Democrat and the only reason I did that is to vote for Bobby O'Connor in the primaries. Otherwise I would be undecided or whatever category they put you under lol.

Good reason to vote "D". I've stated before I met O'Connor at an Italian gentlemen's club off of Larimer Avenue and he came off as a stand-up guy. It's a shame we won't ever be able to experience what he could have brought to this city.

I'm with you, it is tough think about this city losing a sports team. Unfortunately and it pains me to say it, I'm sure the same was being said in Minnesota and Hartford.

Edman
03-06-2007, 10:57 AM
That's disappoints me the most is that we have a young and impiring Penguins team just coming into their own, and this is a win-win situation. Pittsburgh gets a shiny new arena for concerts, more people will move in, and the city garners more revenue. If the Pens leave town, the Steelers are our only hope. I wouldn't count on the Pirates doing Jack chit for the next couple of years as long as the Nutcases still own the team and Mclutchy continues to hype the team with no results.

I hate to say this, but I believe the city lost the Pens. Big Ed's Philly Fix was in when the Pens didn't get the slot licence. My already huge hate for all things Philly will Skyrocket. Eagles, Sixers, Flyers, and now Eddy Rendell. Pittsburgh and the Pens were royally screwed today, and perhaps for the rest of time. I hope I am so wrong. I want to be wrong. :crying01:

X-Terminator
03-06-2007, 10:57 AM
I worked in politics for several years, and my biggest problem with the large portion of "leaders" in PA are that they are not leaders--not forward thinkers. Everything is a knee-jerk reaction to the "now" problem not a decision based on what is important long term for the region. And those are the good politicians---the bad ones are solely interested in their power and pocketbooks and they posture by banging on the table in meetings to make it look like their doing something.

So if this were the Flyers, do we think this would even be an issue? A deal would have been done last year----actually the fix would have been in for Isle of Capri.

The thinking of the politicians in PA is reflective of the thinking of the overwhelming majority of PA and particularly here in SW PA - the "status quo" reigns supreme. The people are so afraid of change or any kind of innovative thinking that they'd rather see the region sink into the abyss rather than come up with new ideas to make the city viable again...so long as they aren't inconvenienced. Look at all of the bitching and moaning over plans to redevelop the Fifth and Forbes corridor downtown as proof positive of what I'm talking about.

But if this was the Flyers, the deal would have been done months or even years ago - Rendell would have made sure of it. He will always favor Philly and SE PA at every turn, and screw everyone else.

X-Terminator
03-06-2007, 11:00 AM
That's disappoints me the most is that we have a young and impiring Penguins team just coming into their own, and this is a win-win situation. Pittsburgh gets a shiny new arena for concerts, more people will move in, and the city garners more revenue. If the Pens leave town, the Steelers are our only hope. I wouldn't count on the Pirates doing Jack chit for the next couple of years as long as the Nutcases still own the team and Mclutchy continues to hype the team with no results.

I hate to say this, but I believe the city lost the Pens. Big Ed's Philly Fix was in when the Pens didn't get the slot licence. My already huge hate for all things Philly will Skyrocket. Eagles, Sixers, Flyers, and now Eddy Rendell. Pittsburgh and the Pens were royally screwed today, and perhaps for the rest of time. I hope I am so wrong. I want to be wrong. :crying01:

Dude, I've already come to grips with it, but I'm with you on the hatred of Philly...but KC will be at the top of the list too. I wouldn't care if asteroids dropped from the sky and obliterated both cities at this point - that's how pissed I am over this.

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 11:04 AM
That's disappoints me the most is that we have a young and impiring Penguins team just coming into their own, and this is a win-win situation. Pittsburgh gets a shiny new arena for concerts, more people will move in, and the city garners more revenue. If the Pens leave town, the Steelers are our only hope. I wouldn't count on the Pirates doing Jack chit for the next couple of years as long as the Nutcases still own the team and Mclutchy continues to hype the team with no results.

I hate to say this, but I believe the city lost the Pens. Big Ed's Philly Fix was in when the Pens didn't get the slot licence. My already huge hate for all things Philly will Skyrocket. Eagles, Sixers, Flyers, and now Eddy Rendell. Pittsburgh and the Pens were royally screwed today, and perhaps for the rest of time. I hope I am so wrong. I want to be wrong. :crying01:

I agree with the majority of what you stated except that the "fix was in". I'm not buying it. Rendell was backed by the group in Station Square (which also lost) who gave him thousands when he was running. If the fix was in I would have to believe they would have received the license and not Barden's group.

Eitherway, it's painfully obvious (at least to me) on why Barden got the license. The fix might as well been in.

As for a the rivalry. I dislike Philly but I respect them as a rivalry. Makes for great hockey. I will have NO RESPECT for KC as a hockey city. Much like I have zero respect for Atlanta, Nashville and Florida.

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 11:10 AM
Question...will the NHL allow them to move? I haven't heard the latest on this. I know supposedly the deal has made progress, but is it enough for the NHL to block it.

memphissteelergirl
03-06-2007, 11:14 AM
Hmm....politics in da 'Burgh/Western PA sounds similar to politics here in Memphis...bleah.

Anyhoo, I am keeping a good thought for you guys up there that a deal will be reached and the Pens will stay right where they are. :wink02:

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 11:15 AM
Question...will the NHL allow them to move? I haven't heard the latest on this. I know supposedly the deal has made progress, but is it enough for the NHL to block it.

I'm not exactly sure how that works. I always thought the Penguins/Lemieux would have to get approval from the NHL to move. No matter what (how far or close the deal). I'm simply guessing, but I believe it all depends on how close the goverment's offer is to that of KC's? Eitherway I believe the Penguins can/will take the NHL to court if the NHL does in fact decide to block them from moving and it would be decided then and there. Of course that's pure speculation on my part.

I'm with you though, I have not heard anybody (sports media) bring up the possibility of the NHL blocking a move.

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 11:17 AM
Hmm....politics in da 'Burgh/Western PA sounds similar to politics here in Memphis...bleah.

Anyhoo, I am keeping a good thought for you guys up there that a deal will be reached and the Pens will stay right where they are. :wink02:

Thanks MSG. We need all the good thoughts we can get. :cheers:

83-Steelers-43
03-06-2007, 11:22 AM
Mayor 'reached out' to Penguins since getting letter
Still thinks deal is close but no talks set
Tuesday, March 06, 2007

By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said today that he and other elected leaders have "reached out" to the Penguins since receipt of yesterday's letter from the team declaring talks on a new arena to be at an impasse.

"I still believe that we are very close to getting this deal," he said. He and the team, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Gov. Ed Rendell need to "sit down, talk about the specifics, find out where we're not in agreement, and go from there."

He said, though, that there is as yet no date and time set for a resumption of negotiations with the team. He would not provide details on who reached out to whom.

"They have become frustrated," he said of the team. "I can tell you that in many ways, we have become frustrated," he said of the elected officials.

Minutes before the mayor's news conference, mayoral challenger Councilman William Peduto charged that the failure of negotiations to produce a deal in more than two months was "what happens when you don't have someone who has experience" in the mayor's post.

Mr. Ravenstahl was a council member for nearly three years before ascending to the mayor's post.

Mr. Peduto said Mayor Tom Murphy led on development of PNC Park and Heinz Field, and Mr. Ravenstahl should have done the same.

"I'll continue to lend myself to those discussions as I have over the past months," countered the mayor. He said that no one elected leader can get an arena deal done, since the city and county control the land and the governor controls the money.

"Without the governor at the table, there's absolutely no way we could be in discussions to keep the team here," he said.

Mr. Peduto offered his services as a mediator but predicted that the mayor would not take him up on the offer.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07065/767234-100.stm

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 11:30 AM
Well hopefully they set up a time to meet in the VERY near future.

Counselor
03-06-2007, 11:56 AM
Penguins and Lemieux blowing smoke? Milking the goverment for all they can? Making Fast Eddie sweat under the collar a little before they sign a deal?

I wouldn't call it blowing smoke,---I think there are legitimate issues that Mario & Co. have with the deal Fast Eddie & Co are proposing. I don't know the details of the deal, but from what I hear its not as good as the Steelers or Pirates got. (Especially when the facility is one we need anyway)

Mario knows his biggest and best hammer is the public opinion---especially when the Pens are so close to the playoffs and there is renewed energy in this town for them--selling out every night. He's absolutely putting pressure on all of the politicians.

If you notice, the only time the politicians move on this is when the Pens threaten something. Mario needs to keep the pressure on to get this done. But he has to be careful that he doesn't over play his hand. This may be the last big push---they need to get this done real soon while the team is making the stretch run.

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 11:59 AM
Good point Counselor. When things looked bleak last time the officials moved. Hopefully it happens again.

Edman
03-06-2007, 02:06 PM
I don't care if they spend days and nights in that conference room. Get some blankets, some coffee, or whatever. This deal needs to get done. The city of Pittsburgh will greatly benefit from a new arena. It gets rid of all those crappy abandoned houses in the Hill district and opens the way for business. Maybe Lemieux is threatening in order for the Politicians to get off their collective butts and work for this deal. But I'm not gonna hold my breath.

I'm beginning to believe Lemieux actually means it this time...

memphissteelergirl
03-06-2007, 03:31 PM
I don't care if they spend days and nights in that conference room. Get some blankets, some coffee, or whatever. This deal needs to get done. The city of Pittsburgh will greatly benefit from a new arena. It gets rid of all those crappy abandoned houses in the Hill district and opens the way for business. Maybe Lemieux is threatening in order for the Politicians to get off their collective butts and work for this deal. But I'm not gonna hold my breath.

I'm beginning to believe Lemieux actually means it this time...


Don't forget the sammiches, bagels, and danish! :wink02: :sofunny:

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 03:32 PM
Hell they get in a meeting and I'll buy them for them and deliver. lol

polamalufan43
03-06-2007, 04:22 PM
Just heard that if the Pens try to leave, the gov is gonna try to convince the NHL to stop them from leaving.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

Hell they get in a meeting and I'll buy them for them and deliver. lol

P.S. Don't forget to wear your Pens gear, it may help.

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 05:03 PM
Officials and the Pens meeting in the works for Thursday. Mario and company suppose to meet with Houston and Las Vegas soon.

SteelCityMan786
03-06-2007, 05:13 PM
Officials and the Pens meeting in the works for Thursday. Mario and company suppose to meet with Houston and Las Vegas soon.

Houston has a true arena that can possibly support a hockey team. In LV all that I'm aware of is the Thomas and Mack Center and they lost the Las Vegas Gladiators. Then there is the Orleans Arena.

Either way, these two are most likely the weaker markets to having the Penguins. Pittsburgh still in my opinion has a better chance then LV or Houston at keeping the Penguins.

Prosdo
03-06-2007, 05:17 PM
Ditto SCM. The markets in those two cities are thin at best. Pittsburgh has a fan base already and a city worth of people pulling for them. Hopefully Thursday we get some great news and PA government folds and signs.

SteelCityMan786
03-06-2007, 05:28 PM
Ditto SCM. The markets in those two cities are thin at best. Pittsburgh has a fan base already and a city worth of people pulling for them. Hopefully Thursday we get some great news and PA government folds and signs.

I'm with ya sister.

Remember fellow Penguins fans, just like with the Steelers, we gotta keep BELEVIN.

X-Terminator
03-07-2007, 01:18 AM
Las Vegas? LAS VEGAS???? Please tell me this is a joke...please? How in the hell could Mario Lemieux, a HOCKEY GUY, could possibly think an NHL franchise could be viable there? It would be even worse than KC or Houston, for God's sake! Hey Mario - the best market for the Pens is RIGHT HERE IN PITTSBURGH - and you know it!

Penguins owners taking a look at Las Vegas today

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins will travel to Las Vegas today to explore a possible move, as state and local leaders try to arrange a meeting with the team to get talks here back on track.

Las Vegas is one of three cities interested in talking to the team after Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle sent a letter to Gov. Ed Rendell, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl on Monday declaring an impasse in negotiations and saying they would "aggressively" consider relocation.

Team officials also are hoping to set up a meeting this week, possibly in Los Angeles, with representatives of Anschutz Entertainment Group, manager of the $276 million Sprint Center being built in Kansas City. They also are trying to set up a meeting in Houston, another city trying to attract a National Hockey League team.

At the same time, Mr. Rendell, Mr. Onorato and Mr. Ravenstahl are hoping to meet with all principals, including Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle, possibly tomorrow in Philadelphia, to try to salvage a deal they have described as close to being done.

"This is a priority for us. There's a lot of flexibility in our calendars. We're going to try to get this done," Mr. Onorato said. "Let's get back in a room, find out what triggered the letter. Let's get that resolved and let's close the deal."

Despite the letter declaring an impasse, Mr. Ravenstahl insisted yesterday that the two sides were close to an agreement on funding a new arena. He said the parties need to "sit down, talk about the specifics, find out where we're not in agreement, and go from there."

He said he expected National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, who has served as a go-between the last two weeks, to be part of any new round of talks.

In Las Vegas, the Penguins are expected to talk with Mayor Oscar Goodman, who first met with National Hockey League officials several years ago in a bid to land a franchise.

The team's arena situation in Las Vegas may not be much better than it is in Pittsburgh. At least initially, the team most likely would play in the 23-year-old Thomas & Mack Center, site of the recent National Basketball Association All-Star Game.

In remarks before the game, NBA Commissioner David Stern said the league would not return to the arena. He said it was "not suitable for future All-Star events" and "not equipped to hold major league events." NBA officials also had complaints about power and lighting capacity.

Mr. Goodman claims to have five groups interested in investing in an arena, but there is no firm timetable for construction or even a deal to get one built. There's also been a continuing concern about locating a professional sports franchise in a city that allows betting on pro sports.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Goodman would not confirm today's meeting with representatives from the Penguins.

In Houston, no meeting has been set up so far. But Patrick Trahan, a spokesman for Mayor Bill White, said the mayor's office has extended an invitation to talk to the team about a possible move "when the time was right."

Officials in Houston have been trying to attract an NHL team to play in the Toyota Center, an arena that opened in 2003 and is home to the NBA Houston Rockets and the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.

The frontrunner in a potential relocation is Kansas City, where the $276 million Sprint Center is nearing completion and will be available next season. The Penguins are being offered a deal that includes no rent, no construction costs and a split of building revenues with AEG.

AEG spokesman Michael Roth had no comment on the situation with the Penguins yesterday.

In declaring an impasse Monday, Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle said the team had agreed to put up $4 million a year toward a new arena -- $3.6 million a year in rent and $400,000 a year in funding for capital expenses. The Penguins also are adding $500,000 a year for a new parking garage.

The $4 million is exactly the same as Mr. Rendell asked the team to contribute last year under the proposed Plan B funding formula.

Other major financial elements also appear to be in place -- $7.5 million a year for 30 years from Pittsburgh casino winner Don Barden and $7.5 million annually from a gambling-backed state economic development fund, up $500,000 from the initial Plan B proposal.

Despite that, the two sides have been unable to work out a deal, leading many to wonder exactly what the holdup was. Asked about that, the mayor replied, "Numbers are numbers, and they present numbers perhaps in a different way than we present numbers."

Mr. Ravenstahl would not rule out an appeal to the NHL to block a relocation by the Penguins if the team tried to move. Mr. Rendell made the same point in interviews in Philadelphia yesterday, although a spokesman played down the threat, saying it would be a "last resort kind of thing."

"It's important to emphasize they're still trying to work this thing out," spokesman Chuck Ardo said.

The Penguins have expressed frustration as much with the tone of the talks as the substance.

Sources close to the team indicated one of the final straws came Friday, when the state refused to share interest rate information in a dispute over whether more money is needed in the financing package. They're concerned that the antagonistic tone could carry over if issues arise during construction. The Penguins co-owners said in their letter, "We can do no more."

Mr. Onorato, who said it "truly was a shock" to get Monday's letter, said one reason he wants to meet quickly is to find out exactly what is bothering the team and get it resolved.

He acknowledged there "seems to be a big disconnect" in the way the public officials have viewed the negotiations as opposed to the Penguins.

"There's been so much movement in the last month, I thought it was positive movement," he said.

Mr. Rendell said last week one of the few remaining outstanding issues was how to account for an extra $20 million added as a contingency to a proposed arena bond issue. That increased the amount of the bond issue from $270 million to $290 million.

The Penguins also have a concern about the impact the losers' appeals of the Pittsburgh slots license award will have on funding, although both Mr. Onorato and Mr. Ravenstahl indicated it would not be a major impediment.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767364-53.stm

X-Terminator
03-07-2007, 01:26 AM
Risks over arena great for public officials and franchise

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
By James O'Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins' latest declaration that they are seeking a home beyond Pittsburgh may have been an authentic expression of eight years of frustrating negotiations, but it was also a calculated effort to boost pressure on state and local officials to resolve, once and for all, their quest for a new arena.

The talks, which may resume tomorrow, pose significant, though varying, degrees of political risk for the three officeholders involved, just as they carry substantial business and public relations risks for the franchise.

For Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the flight of the flightless birds would offer a ready-made issue to his mayoral challenger, Councilman William Peduto.

Mr. Peduto, who has been a passionate hockey fan since growing up in Scott down the block from former Penguins player Lowell MacDonald, seized on the latest development yesterday, blaming Mr. Ravenstahl for taking a back seat to Gov. Ed Rendell and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato throughout the talks.

He contrasted what he characterized as a subsidiary role by the mayor with the leading one played by former Mayor Tom Murphy in the negotiations that produced PNC Park and Heinz Field.

Mr. Ravenstahl, who said he had reached out to the Penguins in response to their letter declaring an impasse in the arena talks, rejected his rival's critique, noting the central financial role of the state in any prospective deal.

"Without the governor at the table, there's absolutely no way we could be in discussions to keep the team here," he said.

Mr. Onorato has no similar short-term jeopardy. His re-election is all but assured with no Republican opponent and only a long-shot challenge from community organizer Richard Swartz for the Democratic nomination.

Mr. Onorato is widely seen as having ambitions beyond the courthouse, however. The departure of the popular sports franchise could complicate those plans. Mr. Onorato has led a relatively charmed public life since taking over as the county's second chief executive.

By introducing a base-year system for property tax assessments, he finessed an issue that had dogged county officials for decades. He recently welcomed the news that US Airways had decided to locate its expended operations center in the county. But the Penguins issue could turn into a hurdle on a potential road to higher office.

From a purely political perspective, the arena issue was a bigger potential problem for Mr. Rendell before his landslide re-election last year.

His opponent, Lynn Swann, joined a long list of politicians of both parties in embracing the casino bid of Isle of Capri, then the Penguins' partner, which pledged to build a new arena in return for the awarding of a slot machine license.

Mr. Rendell took the lead in crafting the so-called Plan B, wherein all three of Pittsburgh's slots bidders were asked to help finance a new arena. He is barred from seeking a third term as governor, so the talks could do little to cloud his personal ambition.

Their resolution, could, at most, have a marginal, intangible impact on the clout he brings to battles over broader state issues. A popular governor is in a better position than an unpopular one in asking for tough votes on such issues as health care or the budget.

"I think the political stakes for the governor are certainly less than they are for the two local officials running for re-election, but having said that, the governor ... has worked hard on this project because it is important to Western Pennsylvania,'' said Chuck Ardo, a spokesman for Mr. Rendell. "It's got less to do with politics than it does with the fact that he thinks it's important for Pittsburgh to have a hockey team."

Despite the impression that might be conveyed by the callers to sports talk radio, the political pressure on public officials concerning the Penguins does not come solely from one side.

Mr. Peduto invoked the former Mayor Mr. Murphy in his criticism of Mr. Ravenstahl. But among the political problems that assailed Mr. Murphy in the latter part of his administration was enduring criticism of his role in championing public financing for the North Shore sports facilities.

In the run-up to last year's elections, Western Pennsylvania voters were the targets of polling on almost every conceivable public issue. If those surveys had found big majorities favoring public financing of the arena, local and state politicians would be lining up behind such proposals, making the Penguins talks easier for all sides.

But the issue is a double-edged sword to politicians.

"Who lost the Penguins?" could become to Pittsburgh politics what "Who lost China?" was to the national political debate of the 1950s, a source of never-ending, unresolvable bickering.

At the same time, as the fate of Mr. Murphy and former county Commissioners Bob Cranmer and Mike Dawida suggests, there is political peril in being perceived as having given away the store to a sports franchise.

In a reflection of that reality, under the outline of Plan B, a pledge of $7.5 million in gaming proceeds from the eventual Pittsburgh casino winner, Majestic Star, along with other gaming-generated revenues and a substantial contribution from the team, are the heart of the financing deal still on the table. The political players have emphasized repeatedly that the proposal does not depend on tax dollars.

The prospect of the Penguins' exit raises the question of what would happen to the Majestic Star portion of that revenue stream. Even though Isle of Capri lost out on the slots license, it was a political and public relations achievement on its part and that of the casino operator's allies, the Penguins, that a public consensus developed early that arena financing was an appropriate goal for slots revenue.

Part of the argument was that this was private money rather than tax dollars. But if that revenue stream is not needed for a new arena, would it be available for some other public purpose? Officials close to the talks disagreed on whether it could be redirected or simply added to Majestic Star's prospective profits.

"That's highly speculative," said Bob Oltmanns, a Majestic Star spokesman.

While they don't have to worry about the next election, the Penguins aren't immune from risk in this situation. Mario Lemieux will always be a Pittsburgh sports legend. Whatever happens with the team, he won't be a contender for the pariah status Art Modell assumed in Cleveland with the exit of the Ravens, nee Browns. But the prospect of the Kansas City Penguins, or the Las Vegas Penguins, would inevitably complicate his relationship with an adopted home whose team he saved on the ice and in the front office.

From a business standpoint, the lease details offered by Kansas City seem favorable to the team. And with its current makeup, the odds are that a winning, young team could sell tickets in any sizable city, at least in the near term. The real danger for the team in a new city is whether it could cultivate the long-term fan base that allowed the team to attract crowds even in its down years. That relationship, built over decades, will be at risk for all sides as the brinkmanship over the arena continues.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767367-53.stm

X-Terminator
03-07-2007, 01:29 AM
Bob Smizik: Political futures may hinge on arena deal

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The two most nervous men in town these days have to be Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. They're nervous because their bright political futures, which could take them well beyond their current positions, are in jeopardy.

Onorato is said to be eyeing the 2010 governor's race, where he certainly would be a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination. Ravenstahl, less than a year in office, doesn't yet have those ambitions. But he's a heavy favorite to be elected mayor in November, and, with his youth, likability quotient and the high name recognition he'll eventually have, it's not hard to see him in Congress some day or succeeding Onorato as governor.

But there's a major obstacle in the path of these ambitions. It's so large, in fact, it could make their current jobs their last ones in the public sector.

No one wants to be the man on whose watch a major sports franchise leaves town. That's one of the reasons the politicians went against the wishes of the voters and funded new stadiums for the Steelers and Pirates. But that's where Onorato and Ravenstahl are today. They are perilously close to being remembered as the top two elected officials in the region who let the Penguins get away.

If that happens, there is a small but highly vocal and deeply passionate Penguins fan base that would do everything in its power to have Onorato and Ravenstahl defeated the next time they dare run for office. Beyond that, people who believe sports are important to the region also will take a dim view of the Penguins leaving and feel new leadership is needed.

The Penguins, blessed with massive leverage because they are coveted by at least one other city, flexed their muscles Monday and pronounced the current talks for a new arena at an "impasse" and said they would "aggressively explore relocation."

Kansas City here we come.

Onorato and Ravenstahl, along with Gov. Ed Rendell, are on the other side of the table from the Penguins in these negotiations. This very position alone has made them unpopular with fans so dazed by the possible loss of the Penguins they can't think straight. It is incumbent on Onorato and Ravenstahl to get a deal done or be labeled as the politicians who lost the Penguins. Rendell is the major power broker in these talks, but he's in his final term as governor and said he has no ambitions to run for office again. Onorato and Ravenstahl are the ones with the most to lose.

The solution is not as simple as it appears. A deal needs to be done, but not in terms so favorable to the Penguins that the city and county will look like losers. Although Penguins fans have been extremely vocal in lending support to a new arena, they are enormously outnumbered by those who might care whether the team stays but in no circumstances want to see public money go to a private business, particularly one that has Ron Burkle, whose worth is estimated at $2.5 billion, in the ownership group.

The dilemma for Onorato and Ravenstahl is this: If the Penguins leave, they'll be smashed, trashed and bashed by supporters of the team. If the Penguins stay with too good a deal -- one, say, that included RAD tax money -- the silent majority could erupt with equal venom at the polls.

Make no mistake, despite all the hollering by Penguins fans and the team's too-ardent supporters in the media, most people prefer to see public money going back into their pockets in the form of property-tax relief. They'll accept a reasonable deal, but not one too loaded in favor of the team.

As the deal is currently constructed, about $15 million annually is slated to go into funding for an arena from slots revenue. There are a lot of people who would prefer to see that money going toward tax relief or improved public services, such as more police. Fifteen million dollars buys a lot of policemen.

Onorato and Ravenstahl have to get back to the table and get a deal done that will keep the Penguins and still save them face with the majority of the voters. All the leverage is not with the Penguins. Kansas City is not the perfect solution. It might be great for two or three years, but the NHL has failed there once -- as have the NBA and MLB -- and a long-term deal would be filled with the kind of future doubts that don't exist in Pittsburgh.

But the two local leaders cannot be dismissive about the Penguins' wishes. If the Penguins leave, the approximately $4 million they are scheduled to put toward arena funding goes with them. Without that $4 million, an arena, at least the kind that would attract an NHL or NBA team, does not get built.

Onorato and Ravenstahl are on the spot. They need to get this deal done soon, done right and done so Penguins fans and average citizens are pleased with the outcome.

Their futures are at stake.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767418-194.stm

X-Terminator
03-07-2007, 01:32 AM
Keep talking: Pittsburgh has the power to keep the Penguins

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

No one within shouting distance should be convinced that we've seen the last of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Yet no one should just take it for granted that this deal will get done.

Now that the hockey team's owners have declared the talks toward funding a new arena at "an impasse," compelling them to "aggressively explore relocation," a reality check has been served on this community and on the elected leaders who are trying to come to terms with the wildly popular franchise.

This is not one of those sports teams, like others around the country, that can't fill seats or excite fans. Most nights Mellon Arena is packed to the ceiling, whether the Penguins are winning or losing -- and the team's championship prospects, given its formidable young talent, will only grow. This enterprise has real value to Pittsburgh.

It does not play in one of those venues, like other civic centers, that is merely not the newest or not the shiniest. The arena is flat-out the oldest facility in the National Hockey League and, even if it doesn't continue to host a professional sports team, the flying-saucer-shaped building that opened in the days of JFK is outmoded for even its other uses and will need replacement in the not-distant future.

The opportunity to use the dawn of slots-machine gambling in Pennsylvania, not to mention the sale of hockey tickets, as a way to pay for the bulk of a new public arena for Pittsburgh could not have been better timed. Regardless of which bidder wins this city's casino license, formulas are in place and agreements are in hand that will deliver the dollars needed to build the new facility.

That is why, all things considered, we don't think the Penguins want to leave Pittsburgh for an uncertain future in an untested location. We don't think the public wants to lose the excitement generated by the team or the chance to get a new arena built largely with casino and hockey dollars. We also don't think Ed Rendell, Dan Onorato and Luke Ravenstahl want to be known as the troika who let the Penguins get away.

The governor, the county chief executive and the mayor themselves have to get back to the bargaining table with the team owners themselves and finish the deal. Incredible progress has been made on the agreement's major terms, but time is running out. Pennsylvania, Allegheny County and Pittsburgh have to bring the rest of the talks to a successful finish -- with no more table-pounding by anyone.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767319-192.stm

X-Terminator
03-07-2007, 01:37 AM
Sooooooo...Lewieke and Burkle are neighbors, eh? That certainly speaks for itself. And they've been talking privately, too - imagine that? I knew that KC bastard was up to no good! He can say whatever he wants, he is doing his best to steal our hockey team. If I ever saw him, I'd...well, nevermind. Again, I don't want to get in trouble.

Pens threaten road trip to Houston, Vegas, KC

By Andrew Conte and Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 7, 2007

State and local officials are scrambling to meet this week with Penguins team owners -- even as the NHL franchise starts making good on a promise to aggressively look for a new hometown.

Gov. Ed Rendell's office reached out Tuesday to team owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, seeking to set up his first face-to-face meeting with them since Jan. 18. The two sides tentatively agreed to meet Thursday in Philadelphia.

The state has put an "extremely attractive offer on the table," said Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo. Later, Rendell told reporters he would seek help from the National Hockey League if needed.

"If they don't take it, we're going to be up in New York asking the NHL to bar the Penguins from moving," Rendell told The Associated Press.

Lemieux and Burkle on Monday declared an impasse in the talks over how to pay for a new Uptown arena and said they would "aggressively explore relocation." The team owners said they perceived a "lack of collaboration" from the public officials.

Team spokesman Tom McMillan declined to comment. But sources close to the Penguins said the team owners would look at several options for relocating -- with a possible visit to Las Vegas today.

Houston officials have contacted the Penguins about visiting there. And it's believed that Burkle has talked privately with Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, the company that operates Kansas City's Sprint Center.

The Penguins' lease at Mellon Arena expires in June. Team owners have not filed for relocation with the NHL.

"We're trying to get back on track," said Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, who said public officials were "surprised" by the Penguins' statements. "All the parties are trying to communicate. The sooner the better."

It's likely the Penguins will find the grass is greener in other cities -- but not that much greener, said Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based consulting firm Sportscorp.

Then the team and local officials must decide what they're willing to do to close the deal.

"The question has to be asked of political leaders and the Penguins: Are they comfortable losing the deal at these dollars, at these terms?" Ganis said.

The two sides have agreed on a basic arena offer, but Rendell is "willing to work toward making it more acceptable," Ardo said.

It's been nearly a year since Rendell pitched his alternate arena financing proposal -- Plan B -- and by the Penguins' accounts, they have gained little through negotiating.

In the original plan, the team would have paid $8.5 million up front and $2.9 million a year for 30 years, while forgoing $1.16 million a year in naming rights.

Team officials said the latest version eliminates the up-front payment but requires the team to pay $3.6 million a year in rent, plus $400,000 a year in capital improvements. The Penguins also would pay $500,000 a year to build a parking garage.

The state has increased its annual contributions by $500,000, to $7.5 million a year. Majestic Star Casino, which won the license to build a North Shore slots parlor, would pay $7.5 million a year.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said yesterday that an arena deal remains possible.

"We're going to continue to talk about the Penguins and continue to negotiate in good faith," Ravenstahl said. "I still believe that we are very close to getting this deal. It's my hope we can all get back together soon to continue the discussions in a proactive manner and ultimately reach a deal."

In Las Vegas, the facility director for that city's Thomas & Mack Center, where the Penguins would play, said team officials had not contacted him.

Daren Libonati said he has started booking the arena for fall venues and could not alter those plans around the Penguins' possible arrival. Libonati said the venue would not provide the Penguins any non-hockey revenue.

Houston officials, meanwhile, are hoping to give Lemieux and Burkle an offer by today, said Michael Moore, chief of staff to Mayor Bill White.

"They are interested in us," Moore told the Houston Chronicle. "We are obviously interested in them, too. The ball is in their court right now. But we very much recognize this as an opportunity."

Houston officials contacted the Penguins Monday afternoon. If they relocated, the Penguins would play in the Toyota Center, sharing it with the National Basketball Association's Rockets, who control revenue streams at the facility.

In Kansas City, Lemieux and Burkle could talk again with Leiweke and other AEG officials. The team owners traveled to Kansas City Jan. 3 and 4 to look at the Sprint Center, which is scheduled to open for the start of the 2007-08 NHL season.

Burkle and Leiweke are neighbors in the suburbs of Beverly Hills, Calif., and Burkle owns a luxury suite at Staples Center, which Leiweke's AEG operates. Leiweke serves on the NHL's board of governors.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496372.html

HometownGal
03-07-2007, 08:39 AM
"I think the political stakes for the governor are certainly less than they are for the two local officials running for re-election, but having said that, the governor ... has worked hard on this project because it is important to Western Pennsylvania,'' said Chuck Ardo, a spokesman for Mr. Rendell. "It's got less to do with politics than it does with the fact that he thinks it's important for Pittsburgh to have a hockey team."


I think this guy is talking out of his hiney. Rendell, Onorato and Ravenstahl are all Demos. Doesn't matter if Rendell runs again for political office or not - if the Pens leave Pittsburgh, the PA Demo party itself will take a hit as there are a large number of Pens fans in many of the state's key counties. Tubby Tuba will be remembered, along with Onorato and Ravenstahl, as the Demos who couldn't get the deal done and allowed our beloved Pens to relocate.

Riiiiight - Fat Eddie cares about us here in WPA. And pigs fly too.

SteelCityMan786
03-07-2007, 09:53 AM
I think this guy is talking out of his hiney. Rendell, Onorato and Ravenstahl are all Demos. Doesn't matter if Rendell runs again for political office or not - if the Pens leave Pittsburgh, the PA Demo party itself will take a hit as there are a large number of Pens fans in many of the state's key counties. Tubby Tuba will be remembered, along with Onorato and Ravenstahl, as the Demos who couldn't get the deal done and allowed our beloved Pens to relocate.

Riiiiight - Fat Eddie cares about us here in WPA. And pigs fly too.

If it's just 4 years from the day it was this year

January 16, 2011. The Day Western Pennsylvania is free from Governor Ed "I only care about Philly" Rendell.

Let's see the Job Approval Ratings of the governors I have lived to see according to the SCM Standards.

Bob Casey: A little better then Rendell, but sucked. I only say that because I just HATE Senator Casey. All he does is run for Office and DOESN'T THINK about keeping an office for awhile first. I think in 2012 we need to show him the door.

Tom Ridge:96% He left this state in perfect shape and passed it off to Mark Schweiker in good order

Mark Schweiker: 94% Picked up where Ridge Left Off

Ed Rendell:3%. I think this is the worst governor Pennsylvania ever had, and will ever have for quite some time.

83-Steelers-43
03-07-2007, 09:59 AM
Prosdo, this goes back to your question yesterday pertaining to the NHL possibly blocking a Penguin move. Although the article is not very in depth when it comes to a franchise block it's all I could find when it comes to this situation.....

Gov. Rendell says he'll ask NHL to stop Penguins move

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Gov. Ed Rendell says he will turn to the National Hockey League to prevent the Pittsburgh Penguins from moving, one day after the team said it had reached an impasse in negotiations with state, county and local officials to finance a new arena.

"The governor believes we have put an exceptionally attractive offer on the table," according to a statement released by Rendell's office. Later in the day, Rendell told reporters, "If they don't take it, we're going to be up in New York asking the NHL to bar the Penguins from moving."

On Monday, the Penguins said they will actively pursue relocation and blamed government officials for failing to cut a new arena deal.

Owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said the team has agreed to pay $120 million over 30 years toward a new $290 million arena and to cover any cost overruns.

The Penguins' lease at 46-year-old Mellon Arena, the smallest and oldest arena in the league, expires June 30. The Penguins have repeatedly said they may move the team, or sell it to someone who would move it, if no deal for a new arena is in place by then.

Officials in Kansas City have offered the Penguins free rent and half of all revenues if they agree to play in the soon-to-be-completed $262 million Sprint Center.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he believes it is in the team's best interest to stay in Pittsburgh and said a deal can be reached despite the team's frustration with negotiations so far.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_496565.html

83-Steelers-43
03-07-2007, 10:04 AM
PROVE IT.

Onorato wants to close arena deal at Pens meeting on Thursday

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 7, 2007

State, county and local officials hope to meet with Pittsburgh Penguins ownership on Thursday to resolve differences in arena negotiations that prompted the team to declare an impasse and threaten to move.

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato says he was shocked by a letter the Penguins issued Monday, saying they planned to actively pursue relocation and blamed government officials for failing to cut a new arena deal. Owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said the negotiations stalled even though the team has agreed to pay $120 million over 30 years toward a new $290 million arena and to cover any cost overruns.

"I was honestly shocked by that letter," Onorato said Tuesday. "I think if we get us all back in the room immediately we can find out what triggered that letter, resolve it, and close this deal."

Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Ed Rendell said he will ask the National Hockey League to prevent the Penguins from moving, if necessary.

"The governor believes we have put an exceptionally attractive offer on the table," according to a statement released by Rendell's office. Later in the day, Rendell told reporters, "If they don't take it, we're going to be up in New York asking the NHL to bar the Penguins from moving."

The Penguins' lease at 46-year-old Mellon Arena, the oldest arena in the league, expires June 30. The Penguins have repeatedly said they may move the team, or sell it to someone who would move it, if no deal for a new arena is in place by then.

Officials in Kansas City have offered the Penguins free rent and half of all revenues if they agree to play in the soon-to-be-completed $262 million Sprint Center.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he believes it is in the team's best interest to stay in Pittsburgh and said a deal can be reached despite the team's frustration with negotiations so far.

The Penguins did not immediately comment on the various statements made by government officials Tuesday.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_496567.html

X-Terminator
03-07-2007, 10:40 AM
Yeah, I know you'd love to steal our team, you ignorant SOB. Yuck foo, and that goes for the rest of you low-life KC morons. :countdown

Kansas City would love to take instead of give a sports franchise

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 7, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ask many Kansas City sports fans how many players are on a side in hockey, and they'll likely have to guess.

A big slice of the football fans, baseball purists and basketball aficionados here probably don't know the difference between a Stanley Cup and a coffee mug.

Nevertheless — and this is nothing personal, Pittsburgh — making off with your beloved Penguins would be a welcome change for a city that has been hemorrhaging sports for more than 20 years and will soon have a gleaming new $262 million arena standing empty.

In the late 1970s, an expansion NHL team — the Scouts — failed here and moved away. But supporters are encouraged by the interest shown in the Blades, a minor league team that had to fold when its league went out of business in 2001.

And when word came out of Pennsylvania on Monday that the Penguins had declared an impasse in their effort to work out a new arena deal, hearts did beat a little faster.

Was it just gamesmanship? Or will the Penguins actually take another close look at the sweetheart deal they were offered in a meeting in Kansas City late last year?

Officials here were keeping their mouths tightly closed.

"We're just keeping an eye on everything and we'll see what happens," said Kevin Gray, president of the Kansas City Sports Commission. "We know we have made the Penguins a very, very attractive offer."

That offer includes free rent in the new facility scheduled to open in October in downtown Kansas City and a 50 percent share of all arena revenues.

At the very least, adding a team of any stripe would certainly create a novelty effect in a town that has been doing nothing but lose franchises and wave goodbye to sports jewels.

The NBA's Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985, just a few years after the NHL Scouts, now the New Jersey Devils, fled to Colorado.

More recently, Indianapolis outbid Kansas City and took away the NCAA headquarters.

Then the Big Eight Conference, which had been headquartered in Kansas City, merged with four Southwest Conference schools to form the Big 12 and moved to Dallas. The conference then began rotating the popular postseason basketball tournament that had long been held in Kansas City. Sports-wise, this town has been on a losing streak to rival the Royals and their four 100-loss seasons of the past five years.

That might change. That painful sense of loss Kansas City residents have been experiencing may slam into Pittsburgh, whose loyal and sophisticated fans may lose their Penguins.

But would the franchise succeed here long term?

All luxury suites inside the under-construction Sprint Center — whose bowl-shaped, glass shell is updating Kansas City's downtown look — are sold out. New restaurants and retail outlets are on the way.

The Penguins have a young and extremely talented team, led by Sidney Crosby, hailed as the sport's next superstar.

One sports-savvy Kansas Citian who is entirely uninvolved in the Sprint Center believes that might — might — make long-term success a possibility.

"If the team could be immediately competitive, and with star players for everybody to get behind, then I think it would have a chance," said Jim Nutter, a lifelong Kansas Citian and prominent businessman.

"I would not have said that two years ago."

There are questions, however, about whether the Kansas City market can handle another pro franchise.

A bizjournals.com survey from 2006 ranked Kansas City as the nation's fifth-most overextended sports market, declaring its nearly $61 billion collective annual income too small to adequately support its existing teams.

The fourth-most overextended market? Pittsburgh, with just more than $65 billion.

Nutter, who was part of an investment group that once tried to buy the Royals, believes even an attractive young team like the Penguins would face a "tough, tough process under the best of circumstances."

"It could be done. But it would be a tough road."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496441.html

83-Steelers-43
03-07-2007, 11:29 AM
Rendell 'still optimistic' about arena deal
Wednesday, March 07, 2007

By Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- Negotiations between government officials and the Penguins "are not as bleak as the papers make it sound,'' Gov. Ed Rendell said today, adding he is "still optimistic'' the team will remain in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Rendell expects to return further talks "later this week'' with team officials, talks that will include National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman. Mr. Rendell said he is remaining positive despite the fact that Penguins officials are in Las Vegas today to discuss a move there.

As for the letter received from Penguins officials this week declaring an "impasse'' in the talks with Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and state officials, Mr. Rendell said, "I think there are negotiating ploys that are used by both sides in the process.''

Asked if the letter was such a ploy, he said, "I think to some degree it is.'' He said the letter was "a way of letting the commissioner know that we haven't gotten all the way yet and there are still one or two outstanding issues.''

He said he is staying optimistic about what have turned into difficult talks.

"As I said to the Post-Gazette when I was out there (a few days ago), we haven't nailed it down yet, and there are one or two areas that we haven't nailed down,'' he said.

He said he spoke last weekend to Commissioner Bettman -- after getting the Penguins' impasse letter.

"I said 'Commissioner, notwithstanding this letter, I think we're making great progress and I actually think we are very close.' The commissioner has been helpful recently and he will be at the next meeting.''

Mr. Rendell said he sees no "financial advantage'' for the Penguins in a move to Las Vegas, because, like Pittsburgh, it would have to build a new hockey arena from scratch. That differs from Kansas City, which is completing a new arena and wants a hockey team to fill it.

"The financial advantage that (the team) has always said to me that accrues to them most greatly is the ability to move into a new building right away and start realizing 'plus side' revenues,'' he said. "In Las Vegas, they don't have that advantage. Las Vegas couldn't build a new [arena] any faster than we could. So that advantage, which they have been saying all along is one of their big fiscal drivers, doesn't exist.

"It does exist in Kansas City, sure, which is one of the reasons I have increased out participation, and we've worked hard. Since we started meeting (about two months ago), the Penguins have asked for about 14 changes from the original Plan B proposal. My guess is that we've made 12 or 13 of the 14.

"So that's why I'm optimistic. I think we're pretty close. And I'm looking forward to the next meeting as hopefully even wrapping it up."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767507-100.stm

HometownGal
03-07-2007, 03:58 PM
"It could be done. But it would be a tough road."

No shart Sherlock - what's your next case?

Screw 'em. Let them grab up a minor league team to call their own. The Pens are OURS.

83-Steelers-43
03-07-2007, 05:25 PM
Las Vegas will get a hockey team when Cincinnati wins a Super Bowl. It's not going to happen and I'm not even taking this report or any other report dealing with the NHL and Las Vegas seriously. It's called blowing smoke and it's a shame to see the PPG and Trib waste good ink on these stories.

Penguins owner meets with Las Vegas mayor
Wednesday, March 07, 2007

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As state and local political leaders prepared for talks tomorrow, Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle met with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman today to explore a possible move. Mr. Goodman has been seeking to bring a National Basketball Association or National Hockey League team to Las Vegas.

"They had a very pleasant conversation," said Elena Owens, special assistant to the mayor.

She did not know how long the parties met or whether they planned to meet again.

In Las Vegas, the Penguins most likely would have to play in the 23-year-old Thomas & Mack Center until city officials find funding to build a new arena. The Thomas & Mack Center was used for the NBA All-Star Game and won anything but rave reviews from NBA Commissioner David Stern, who said the league would not return to the arena.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767650-100.stm

SteelCityMan786
03-07-2007, 06:02 PM
Danny L is such a retard.

They were debating will the penguins move to vegas and he says that the Penguins fans and Pittsburgh don't care about the Penguins.

That is full of BULLSHIT. We have had attendance go up rapidly Since the 2005-2006 season. More fans have gotten excited about the franchise. I mean what else is there to prove that Pittsburgh cares about the Penguins. The only reason why Mario doesn't have an arena deal is because the politicians have been having trouble cooperating with him.

X-Terminator
03-07-2007, 08:01 PM
Danny L is such a retard.

They were debating will the penguins move to vegas and he says that the Penguins fans and Pittsburgh don't care about the Penguins.

That is full of BULLSHIT. We have had attendance go up rapidly Since the 2005-2006 season. More fans have gotten excited about the franchise. I mean what else is there to prove that Pittsburgh cares about the Penguins. The only reason why Mario doesn't have an arena deal is because the politicians have been having trouble cooperating with him.

I guess leading the league in increased attendance last season, selling to 96% capacity this season, 14 of the past 16 games being sold out and 20 sellouts overall, merchandise sales up 237% over this point last season, top 10 in TV/radio ratings over the past 15 seasons, including the #1 ratings market in the league in the mid/late '90s, 2nd-highest local rating during the All-Star Game (Buffalo was #1).

Yeah, we really don't care about hockey! :rolleyes: If you want to find fans who truly don't care about hockey, look to Miami, Nashville, Carolina and New Jersey. NOT PITTSBURGH! Dimwit.

83-Steelers-43
03-07-2007, 10:55 PM
Kansas City sweetens offer to Penguins

By Andrew Conte and Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Kansas City upped the ante in an attempt to lure the Penguins from Pittsburgh, Wednesday.

Penguins' co-owner Ronald Burkle met Wednesday with officials from AEG, which will operate the new Sprint Center in Kansas City. AEG has sweetened its offer to the Penguins.

"If the Penguins make a decision to relocate, we are absolutely positive that they will not find a better offer or a better market than they will get in Kansas City," said Michel Roth, vice president of communications for AEG. "We don't spend our days worrying about whether or not they will leave Pittsburgh, but we do strongly believe that Kansas City is where they will end up."

During a visit by Penguins ownership to Kansas City in early January, AEG officials offered them free rent and partial revenues at the Sprint Center.

Earlier Wednesday, Burkle met with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to discuss the possibility of the Penguins playing there if a deal for a new Uptown arena cannot be reached in Pittsburgh.

Burkle and fellow co-owner Mario Lemieux are expected to meet with Gov. Ed Rendell, County Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in Philadelphia on Thursday in an attempt to secure funding for a new facility the team says it needs to remain in Pittsburgh.

The Penguins' lease at Mellon Arena expires in June.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will also attend Thursday's meeting.

Aside from their visit to Las Vegas, which Goodman described as a "pleasant conversation," the Penguins were attempting to arrange meetings with representatives in Houston.

Late Wednesday, an official in Houston said that city had pulled out of the Penguins sweepstakes because AEG had sweetened its offer to the Penguins.

"It sounds like Kansas City has offered them a much more favorable deal," said Tad Brown, CEO of Rockets Clutch City Entertainment, which operates Houston's Toyota Center.

Rendell has pledged to press Bettman to block any move by the Penguins, who on Monday declared an impasse in their talks with public officials here for a new arena deal.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_496702.html

X-Terminator
03-08-2007, 12:26 AM
Lame duck franchise.

Critical arena meeting today with Pens, Rendell

By Andrew Conte and Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 8, 2007

After a "pleasant conversation" Wednesday with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Penguins officials are expected back in Pennsylvania today for a make-or-break meeting on building a new Pittsburgh arena.

Team owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle planned to meet in Philadelphia with Gov. Ed Rendell, said team spokesman Tom McMillan. Burkle traveled to Las Vegas without Lemieux.

The California billionaire also intended to talk with AEG, the company operating Kansas City's new Sprint Center, McMillan said.

Penguins officials decided not to hold a meeting in Houston with city leaders and officials of the Toyota Center, an arena official in Texas said.

If negotiations with the Penguins don't succeed, "we would certainly not take it lying down," Rendell said yesterday. "I would feel a deep obligation to the people of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh region and the Penguins' fans."

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly are expected to attend the meeting in Philadelphia. Rendell reiterated that he would seek the league's help to keep the team from leaving.

"Again, I don't believe that will be necessary," Rendell said, calling the latest offer "a great stadium deal."

The meeting comes after Lemieux and Burkle declared an impasse in the arena talks and said they would "aggressively explore relocation." The team's lease at Mellon Arena expires in June.

This is a vital meeting for a deal to be reached in Pittsburgh, said Marc Ganis, president of SportsCorp, a Chicago-based consulting firm, who advised local officials on securing stadiums for the Steelers and Pirates.

"The sides don't have to come to an agreement," Ganis said. "What they have to do is convince Bettman that the deal on the table in Pennsylvania is substantial and that there is flexibility to resolve the open issues."

In Las Vegas, Burkle met privately with Goodman, who emerged saying he had a "very pleasant conversation" with the Penguins officials, said the mayor's spokeswoman, Elena Owens.

Goodman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he does not believe the Penguins are using Las Vegas as leverage to secure a quick resolution to the arena situation in Pittsburgh. Penguins officials did not tour the Thomas & Mack Center and there are no plans for them to do so, said facility director Daren Libonati.

A spokesman for Houston Mayor Bill White said the city extended an invitation to team owners. The Penguins would have to share Houston's Toyota Center with the National Basketball Association's Rockets.

"We put the ball in their court. When we heard what was going on up there, we said the offer is still open to come down here and check it out," said mayoral spokesman Michael Moore.

However, Tad Brown, the CEO of Clutch City Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Toyota Center, said last night the Penguins decided against a meeting.

"They decided not to come," Brown said, explaining that he understands Kansas City officials have sweetened their offer to the Penguins.

"It sounds like Kansas City has offered them a much more favorable deal," Brown said.

An official with AEG confirmed last night that it has sweetened the offer.

In January, Kansas City officials offered the Penguins free rent and partial revenue to play in the new Sprint Center.

"We don't spend our days worrying about whether or not they will leave Pittsburgh, but we do now strongly believe that Kansas City is where they will end up," said Michael Roth, vice president of communications for AEG.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496665.html

X-Terminator
03-08-2007, 01:08 AM
Plan B has feel of deja vu for Rendell

Thursday, March 08, 2007
By Robert Dvorchak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Of all the principals involved in deciding the fate of the Penguins, the only one with experience in an earlier Plan B is the one who controls the purse strings that can finish the deal today.

That would be Gov. Ed Rendell, a Philadelphian who is the most removed from the intricacies of Pittsburgh and who was central in a sequence when an earlier stadium package nearly collapsed in its final stages.

Back in 1998, when former Mayor Tom Murphy had crafted a plan with commissioners Mike Dawida and Bob Cranmer to provide the local funding for a ballpark and stadium, the final piece of the deal hinged on getting a state contribution.

With approval pending before the Legislature in late November, Mr. Rendell -- then the Democratic mayor of Philadelphia -- had promised Mr. Murphy he would deliver the votes of Philadelphia area lawmakers because the state money would go into a fund to help the Pirates, Steelers, Phillies and Eagles build new homes.

But Mr. Rendell figured the Pittsburgh plan was so far ahead of Philadelphia's that he failed to get the right people on board. Without their support, there wasn't even a vote taken and the whole plan appeared to be dead. Mr. Murphy said he felt "double-crossed" by Mr. Rendell. And Mr. Rendell later confessed he hadn't laid the groundwork, saying, "I miscalculated."

It took two full months of damage control and insider maneuvering by the administration of then-Gov. Tom Ridge to get things back on course. One week before the Pirates and Steelers could trigger escape clauses, the Legislature approved the state's share on Feb. 3, 1999. This time, Mr. Rendell delivered. While these public expenditures are always hotly debated, even reluctant Republicans lent their support to approve the spending.

"I really thought the Pirates would leave, and I didn't want the House of Representatives to be blamed," said John Perzel of Philadelphia, then the House Majority Leader.

Back then, the Plan B engine was driven by Pittsburgh. Mr. Murphy and his administration considered the sports team to be brand names for Pittsburgh and did everything he could to keep them. And Mr. Ridge, who considered the loss of sports franchises to be a step back for the state, had Pittsburgh roots in that his family settled in Munhall.

This time around, the dynamic is different in a lot of ways.

Back then, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was a sophomore place-kicker in college. County Chief Executive Dan Onorato was on city council. Both are on board for a new arena, but the city and county aren't putting up public money for it. The bulk of the money comes from slot machine casinos -- in the form of a state development fund and a pledge from Pittsburgh's licensee Don Barden.

Mr. Rendell, Mr. Onorato and Mr. Ravenstahl want the Penguins to stay. The Penguins and co-owner Mario Lemieux, despite public frustrations over the pace of arena talks over the years, want to stay in their home market even though they have an offer on the table to move into a new Kansas City arena without having to pay rent. As a sign of where they stand, the Penguins have pledged to pay what Mr. Rendell asked when he crafted Plan B -- $4 million a year. The NHL wants the Penguins, one of the hottest commodities in hockey, to stay in an established market with an established fan base and with loyal TV viewers.

So why, after all the posturing and the debate, is this not a done deal?

The devil, as always, is in the details.

More than two months after a Jan. 4 meeting that set the framework for a deal, a couple of stumbling blocks remain. The Penguins have agreed to pay cost overruns once construction starts, but they want to know who is on the hook for what if bids come in that surpass the guaranteed maximum price. The Penguins also believe there is enough money on the table to cover a $290 million bond issue, but the state believes there is a gap in funding. The Penguins asked for but did not receive information on interest rates to find out the reason for the discrepancy.

Those aren't deal-breakers. But unhappy over the failure to get the final figures, the Penguins have declared an impasse in talks and are aggressively exploring what may be available beyond Kansas City by visiting Las Vegas and Houston, although Houston officials say they now are no longer interested in pursuing the team.

The Penguins are free to leave Pittsburgh in June if there is no deal. And there could be an outrageously awkward situation in which they announce ticket sales for this year's playoffs while they announce they are leaving town.

Mr. Rendell's comments indicate that he can't understand why the Penguins haven't jumped on board yet for Plan B. He has even said he will ask NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to intervene and order the Penguins to stay. That may not be the best tone going into the final phase.

The future of the Penguins in Pittsburgh may well be decided at a meeting today in Philadelphia. Given that these negotiations have dragged on like a terminal condition, that meeting may be held at what used to be the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, which was the place where Legionnaires' Disease was first identified in 1976.

One person with a stake in the outcome has said that the decision on the future of the Penguins in Pittsburgh will be made by Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Bettman, who will be at today's meeting. But that decision hinges on what they hear from Mr. Rendell, Mr. Onorato and Mr. Ravenstahl.

Nobody can afford any miscalculations at this crucial point.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07067/767813-61.stm

X-Terminator
03-08-2007, 01:57 AM
Here is the letter the Pens should pen

Thursday, March 08, 2007

When you're trying to negotiate a deal worth hundreds of millions of other people's dollars, it's foolish to be entirely honest.

The owners of the Penguins realize this, hence their missive this week to politicians who have dawdled in meeting the team's demand for a new arena.

The letter from team owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle follows the tried-and-true form of the genre. It drips with that "as much as this pains us'' tone that is familiar to anyone who has read the sports pages for the past half-century.

In this, Messrs. Lemieux and Burkle are merely playing the game as it was designed. Rare is the sporting palace built without brinksmanship and threats to skedaddle. This particular threat is different only in that the out-of-town offer is so tangible.

But as this dance nears its end, and the band segues from "Kansas City'' to "Should I Stay or Should I Go" to "Money (That's What I Want),'' we can at least dream of the honest letter some of us would like to see.

"Dear Gov. Rendell, County Executive Onorato and Mayor Ravenstahl.

OK, we all know this is one of the few true hockey towns south of Toronto. Our little sport is big here. Folks in Pittsburgh and that other tourist trap, Buffalo, were pretty much the only ones who could even find the National Hockey League All-Star game on the Versus network in January. Most of America could hardly care less.

But our league has a plan to one day be as big as poker on TV, and Kansas City is a huge part of that strategy.

Heh, heh. OK, maybe "huge'' is overstating it. Kansas City is a smaller TV market than Pittsburgh, and it didn't do well with hockey back when it had a team in the disco era. But its arena has this going for it.

It's free. It will be ready next season. Beat that.

Look, we know the offer you're making is pretty fair. But we don't want "fair.'' We want "unbelievable.'' That's what Kansas City is offering.

A small but vocal portion of the populace cares intensely about this and we can play those sports-talk shows like fiddles. We wish more of their listeners lived in the city, to make things tougher on you, Mayor Luke, in the May primary, but we're negotiating through the media as best we can. Not every team would threaten to leave just before it starts selling playoff tickets.

So let's review.

We've agreed to pay $4 million a year for the newest arena in hockey, a palace that might double the value of this franchise. We've said before that "we owed it to our fans to do everything we could to make it work here.'' But let's be realistic. We didn't mean everything. Only one of us is a billionaire.

We'll kick in $4 million a year for 30 years, figuring that $4 million might be worth half that in 2037, and we'll kick in for any cost overruns, but you'll have to cover the rest.

We're not kidding when we say our questions about the slots financing -- our freakin' idea!-- make us wonder if you know what you're doing. The state Gaming Control Board turned down a free arena, saying that was best for the city, but that could look stupid if Penguins fly. Or do you have some other principal tenant that can draw a collective 700,000 paying customers through more than 40 of the bleakest dates on the calendar?

We didn't think so.

Look, we see the same attendance figures you do and know it's possible one of those 11 hockey teams with lower draws could be in a new Pittsburgh arena in a few years if we don't take it. We really don't want that.

The bottom line is Pittsburgh is the best place for us and the league, and we have come up with a way to replace a 46-year-old, full-purpose arena. What do you say we meet each other halfway and get this done for the city we all claim to love?

Sincerely (Mostly),

Mario and Ron

P.S. We can do a better job holding down costs than the state did for the Petersen Events Center. We promise.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07067/767787-155.stm

Prosdo
03-08-2007, 10:52 AM
Im so anxious about today. I just would like to know whats going to happen and stop this long drawn out thing.

83-Steelers-43
03-08-2007, 11:12 AM
While I think we (fans) will know more, I do not believe we will get a definitive answer today. Just my guess/opinion.

Prosdo
03-08-2007, 11:14 AM
I agree 83. I think we will get a general idea of where it could head, but I don't see them banging out a deal today.

memphissteelergirl
03-08-2007, 11:43 AM
Hope things work out for ya, guys!

Prosdo
03-08-2007, 11:48 AM
Thanks memphis.

Edman
03-08-2007, 01:56 PM
They're supposed to be meeting today. I haven't heard anything yet.

The best we can do now is wait, see, and pray if this finally works out. If the KC offer was so attractive, the ownership would've just forgotten the meeting and just said a big F.U to Pittsburgh.

Prosdo
03-08-2007, 02:42 PM
Officials arriving in Philly for pivotal arena talks
Thursday, March 08, 2007

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PHILADELPHIA -- Negotiating teams began arriving here this afternoon in advance of a pivotal session between Penguins team owners and government officials.

A spokesman for Gov. Edward Rendell said he remained "guardedly optimistic" that the session would lead to an agreement on funding a new arena in Pittsburgh.

"If everybody rolls their sleeves up and comes in with a positive attitude, this thing can get done," said Chuck Ardo.

Mary Conturo of the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority and Dennis Davin, the county's economic development director, were among the early arrivals. They have been involved in talks with the Penguins for months.

County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl were expected to arrive later.

The meeting is being held in Philadelphia because National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman had late meetings in New York this afternoon and it was faster for him to get here than to get to Pittsburgh.

The meeting was tentatively set to start at 5:30 or 6.

Neither side has said where the meeting will be held, and reporters were told to assemble in Philadelphia's City Hall to await statements after the session.

The meeting comes as Kansas City has sweetened its offer to try to lure away the Penguins and as Houston has withdrawn from the competition because of Kansas City's new bid. Team officials were also in Las Vegas this week.

Kansas City had been offering free rent and half the building revenue in its nearly finished new arena, but the specifics of its new offer aren't known.


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07067/767915-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
03-08-2007, 04:41 PM
BREAKING NEWS: As we speak Ed Rendell has sat down and removed his head from his anus cavity.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Edman
03-08-2007, 05:07 PM
Cool, can he take his voicebox from out of his anus cavity, too? He's been talking out of it for so long.

SteelCityMan786
03-08-2007, 05:42 PM
BREAKING NEWS: As we speak Ed Rendell has sat down and removed his head from his anus cavity.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

BREAKING NEWS:Rendell should get this deal done today and should stop being Philly Biased.

That is all.

HometownGal
03-08-2007, 06:10 PM
Why on earth is this meeting being held in Filthadelphia??? The Flyers fans aren't going to lose their team, HoHo Eddie would never allow that - it's the Pittsburgh Penguins. The meeting should have begun a half hour ago - I'm going to be on pins and needles until we hear something which hopefully will be sometime this evening.

X-Terminator
03-08-2007, 06:34 PM
Why on earth is this meeting being held in Filthadelphia??? The Flyers fans aren't going to lose their team, HoHo Eddie would never allow that - it's the Pittsburgh Penguins. The meeting should have begun a half hour ago - I'm going to be on pins and needles until we hear something which hopefully will be sometime this evening.

It's partly for Gary Bettman's benefit, as he had late meetings today in New York and it was easier for him to get to Philadelphia than Pittsburgh in time for the meeting. It's also probably because they won't have to deal with an angry mob of Pens fans when it's announced that the talks broke down and the team will be moving.

83-Steelers-43
03-08-2007, 06:38 PM
By the way, the meeting starts at 7:00 and they already had to change the venue once.

HometownGal
03-08-2007, 06:39 PM
It's partly for Gary Bettman's benefit, as he had late meetings today in New York and it was easier for him to get to Philadelphia than Pittsburgh in time for the meeting. It's also probably because they won't have to deal with an angry mob of Pens fans when it's announced that the talks broke down and the team will be moving.

Bettman has the final say in whether they can move the team or not. It's not over until the fat lady sings. Have a little faith!

X-Terminator
03-08-2007, 06:42 PM
Bettman has the final say in whether they can move the team or not. It's not over until the fat lady sings. Have a little faith!

I'd like to have some faith - I really would. But I have none left.

HometownGal
03-08-2007, 06:53 PM
I'd like to have some faith - I really would. But I have none left.

I remember a certain person losing faith last Sunday afternoon when the Pens were behind. :wink02: You don't want an egg facial twice in one week, do ya? :wink02:

Jeremy
03-08-2007, 07:25 PM
Bettman has the final say in whether they can move the team or not. It's not over until the fat lady sings. Have a little faith!

Actually it's the Board of Governors that has the final say. They could say that Pittsburgh's arena deal is as good as KC's and that they're not going to allow the Pens to move to a market where hockey will fail.

SteelCityMan786
03-08-2007, 11:28 PM
JOINT ANNOUNCEMENT TO COME SOON ON KDKA!

SteelCityMan786
03-08-2007, 11:40 PM
From KDKA

The Penguins and Government officals have NOT reached a deal BUT they have made signifcant progress and will meet again on Wednesday.

Edman
03-09-2007, 12:06 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_496920.html

By Andrew Conte and Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 8, 2007


PHILADELPHIA -- The Penguins and public officials emerged after more than four hours of talks Thursday, saying things went well enough that they would reconvene Wednesday to continue discussing how to pay for an Uptown arena.
"We had a very constructive meeting where significant progress was made," said Chuck Ardo, Gov. Ed Rendell's spokesman.

The parties indicated that no further public comment would be made at this time.

Team owners Mario Lemieux, the hall of fame player, and Ron Burkle, a California billionaire, huddled privately late yesterday with Rendell, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly mediated the talks.





League officials favored keeping the team in Pittsburgh with a workable arena proposal. The team's lease at Mellon Arena expires in June.

The new arena would be built between Centre and Fifth avenues on land bought last year by the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority. The agency hopes to break ground by September and complete construction by fall 2009.

In recent days, AEG, operator of Kansas City's new Sprint Center, stepped up recruiting efforts by offering the team more revenue along with its promise of free rent. The attempt to lure the Penguins there also included money from concessions and parking, sources said.

Lemieux and Burkle met with Kansas City business and community leaders in early January.

Steve Glorioso, spokesman for Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, said Penguins representatives were scheduled to meet Saturday in Los Angeles with officials from AEG. It was not known if that meeting was canceled. Burkle and Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, are neighbors in suburban Beverly Hills.

X-Terminator
03-09-2007, 12:17 AM
Thank you SCM and Edman for the updates.

Not good enough for me to even have the slightest sliver of optimism, however.

Oh, and one more thing...Yook foo Kansas City!

Jeremy
03-09-2007, 12:45 AM
It's gonna happen folks. Chances are good that Bettman told Mario and Ron tonight that the BOG won't approve the move to KC. There's now way the BOG wants to move out of one of the few remaining strong hockey markets in the US into a market which has already failed to support one NHL team and which is smaller than Pittsburgh.

Bettman probably sat everyone down and told them to get it done, period.

X-Terminator
03-09-2007, 12:51 AM
Full Trib story...

Arena talks to reconvene Wednesday

By Andrew Conte and Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, March 9, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- The Penguins and public officials emerged after more than four hours of talks Thursday, saying their session was productive enough that they plan to reconvene Wednesday to continue discussing how to pay for a new Uptown arena.

"We had a very constructive meeting where significant progress was made," Chuck Ardo, Gov. Ed Rendell's spokesman, said shortly before 11:30 last night.

The parties indicated that no further public comment would be made at this time.

Team owners Mario Lemieux, the Hall of Fame player, and Ron Burkle, a California billionaire, huddled privately late yesterday with Rendell, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly mediated the talks.


League officials favor keeping the team in Pittsburgh with a workable arena proposal. The team's lease at Mellon Arena expires in June.

The new arena would be built between Centre and Fifth avenues on land bought last year by the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority. The agency hopes to break ground by September and complete construction by fall 2009.

In recent days, AEG, operator of Kansas City's new Sprint Center, stepped up recruiting efforts by offering the team more revenue along with its promise of free rent. The attempt to lure the Penguins there included money from concessions and parking, sources said.

Lemieux and Burkle met with Kansas City business and community leaders in early January.

Steve Glorioso, spokesman for Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, said Penguins representatives were scheduled to meet Saturday in Los Angeles with officials from AEG. It was not known if that meeting was still on. Burkle and Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, are neighbors in suburban Beverly Hills.

A move to Kansas City would be a bittersweet win for Penguins fans living there, like former Pittsburgher Andrew Newpher.

"I want a hockey team, but not that hockey team," said Newpher, who acknowledged he would buy season tickets, but with a heavy heart.

"I'm a Pittsburgher, and sometimes people here have a hard time realizing that they're not just the Penguins -- they are the Pittsburgh Penguins," he said. "It takes decades to get that kind of loyalty, and they're not going to get that here."

Burkle met Wednesday with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to discuss moving the Penguins there. Officials in Houston had approached the team, but withdrew their invitation when Kansas City sweetened its bid Wednesday.

On Monday, the Penguins sent a letter to Rendell and Pittsburgh's public officials declaring an impasse in negotiations. The letter described Kansas City's arena offer as more of a sure thing, with little of the risk Pittsburgh's arena financing plan held.

To help build an Uptown arena, Lemieux and Burkle said Monday they had agreed to pay $3.6 million a year for 30 years in rent and an additional $400,000 a year for capital improvements. The team also would pay $500,000 a year for a parking garage over 30 years.

Doubts emerged about whether the SEA could build an arena in time to open for the 2009 season and at the projected cost of $290 million. Some insiders believe it might take three years and $350 million, with the Penguins responsible for cost overruns.

In recent weeks, the team and public officials haggled over the cost of the new arena and how to pay for it. Rendell has said it could be built for $270 million. The two sides also differed over how to divide development rights for the Mellon Arena site.

State officials had agreed to increase annual payments by $500,000, to $7.5 million, from a development fund backed by slots money. However, team owners said they had concerns about another key source of money -- from the planned North Shore casino.

Detroit businessman Don Barden's Majestic Star Casino would kick in $7.5 million a year for 30 years after the casino opened. But it won't open until 14 months after Barden gets the license -- a process tied up indefinitely with appeals to the state Supreme Court from two losing bidders for the slots license.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496920.html

X-Terminator
03-09-2007, 12:54 AM
This idea has been kicked around before, but now it appears to have some legs. It's a political ploy, yes...and the league would never allow it...but hey - it's intriguing.

Injunction would give public right to net Pens

By Mike Wereschagin
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, March 9, 2007

A local business owner and a former Allegheny County commissioner plan to seek a court injunction today to give county residents the right to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins rather than let them relocate.

The idea, said former Democratic County Commissioner Mike Dawida, is to give Penguins fans sort of a right of first refusal. Because the public has invested tax money in the team -- $10 million in Regional Asset District money paid for high-rent club seating 10 years ago, for example -- it ought to get a chance to purchase the franchise before it is allowed to leave, he said.

"We put at least $10 million into the team, plus there's (Mellon) arena itself," which was built with public money, said Dawida, a candidate for city controller. He said he wants to keep this effort separate from politics.

Businessman Phil Isaly, owner of food maker Isaly's, envisions raising buyout money from a few major investors and a public stock offering, like one that allowed football fans in Green Bay, Wis., to buy the Packers.

"In Green Bay, what happened was almost everybody in town bought a share, to frame it and hang it on the wall or give it to somebody as a present," Isaly said.

A consortium of investors has been assembled, Isaly said, though he declined to name the participants.

"Raising the money is the easy part. The (legal) precedent-setting and all those kinds of things, that's the difficult part."

They'll have to convince a county judge that the Penguins' acceptance of public money makes the public a stakeholder in the team. The effort would also require overturning a rule adopted by National Hockey League owners that bars public ownership of a team, they said.

"It will change all of sports, if we win," Dawida said. "Every city will adopt this."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496918.html

X-Terminator
03-09-2007, 12:55 AM
Penguins fans give politicians the cold shoulder

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, March 9, 2007

To best describe her feelings about the cloud of uncertainty hovering above her favorite hockey team, Natalie Sciulli called upon a classic Tom Petty tune.

"The waiting has been the hardest part," Sciulli, 20, said. "That's been the worst part, actually. The possibility of (a new arena deal) getting done and then it not getting done -- it's been really hard."

The Penguins' game against the New Jersey Devils at Mellon Arena on Thursday was "at least the 20th of the season" for Sciulli, of Crafton. She attended with her younger sister, Michelle, 16, who claimed to have been at every home game.

Like dozens among the sold-out crowd last night, the Sciullis arrived armed with a sign that showed great displeasure with public officials' inability to reach a deal on a new Uptown arena that would keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

The sign was a play on the popular Geico caveman commercials. It read: "Keeping the Pens here so easy a POLITICIAN can do it."

Gov. Ed Rendell's name was not very popular inside the NHL's oldest building last night even as he, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl met with Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle in Philadelphia in an attempt to end the arena saga.

Numerous fans came to the arena wearing yellow T-shirts with one message: "STAY." One fan wore a self-made jersey that read "Relocate Rendell." Hanging signs stated "Someone Is About To 2 Lose 17,000 Votes" and "If You Build It We Will Come."

A popular team Internet message board had challenged fans to show support for a new arena by starting a "Save the Pens!" chant to open the game. It worked.

Walking along a concourse prior to the national anthem, Matt Wilberger, 22, of Sewickley, proudly sported an old Hartford Whalers replica jersey. That team moved to Carolina in 1997, and Wilberger hoped somebody would take notice of the connection.

"It could happen to us," Wilberger said, flashing a crossed-out Whalers crest with "Save the Pens!" inked on the duct tape.

Jack Haughey did not want to hear any such talk.

"Look around," said Haughey, 68, of McKeesport. "These are great hockey fans. A lot of other cities aren't selling out. We are."

Haughey was at the game with his wife, Nancy, 67. The couple has owned a 20-game plan for years.

"And we plan on keeping it for years to come, into a new arena," Nancy Haughey said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496915.html

X-Terminator
03-09-2007, 01:04 AM
It's gonna happen folks. Chances are good that Bettman told Mario and Ron tonight that the BOG won't approve the move to KC. There's now way the BOG wants to move out of one of the few remaining strong hockey markets in the US into a market which has already failed to support one NHL team and which is smaller than Pittsburgh.

Bettman probably sat everyone down and told them to get it done, period.

Yes, but you're forgetting one major factor in all of this - the almighty dollar. You don't think the owners' votes couldn't be "bought," so to speak? That they couldn't somehow be convinced that the league, and therefore they, would make more money if the Pens move? Well I do. Why? Because greed trumps all.

I trust NO ONE in this saga.

X-Terminator
03-09-2007, 01:24 AM
Never knew that Doc Emrick was a Pens fan growing up - quite interesting. Anyway, good for the fans and their chants tonight - I did not see the entire game, but I did record it and will watch it just for that reason.


Another sellout crowd at Mellon Arena makes feelings known with 'Save our Pens' chant
Pens' doubleheader: game, talks

Friday, March 09, 2007
By Robert Dvorchak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Under normal circumstances, that passionate breed of sports fanatics known as Penguins supporters would have filled every seat in the Igloo to watch one of the National Hockey League's darling teams face off against the team in front of them in the Atlantic Division standings as the playoffs approach.

But the circumstances were anything but normal last night. Although the house was full for the 15th time in the last 17 games, the focus was split between what was happening on the ice and what could come out of a bargaining session in Philadelphia on the fate of the franchise's future in Pittsburgh.

"It's a shame there has to be a shroud over this game," said Mike "Doc" Emrick, who grew up a Penguins fan and now serves as a broadcaster with the New Jersey Devils. "It would be a marvelous stroke of fortune if this deal got done tonight. We'll burn our candles in hopes that it gets done."

Indeed. Fans took up the chant of "Save Our Pens" in the first minute of play and repeated the sentiment throughout the game, even if the governor and city and county officials couldn't hear them as they met with the franchise owners and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Among the banners sprinkled through the arena was this sign of the times: "Someone's About 2 Lose 17,000 Votes." Another sign was a play on a TV show that read "Deal? Or No Deal?"

This has been a torturous march of the Penguins. Years of talks, inaction, posturing and bargaining appeared to be coming to a resolution over an arena financing deal that would keep the Penguins in the city where they were born 39 winters ago. But there was no word of any outcome at game time, and the uncertainty remained a distraction.

"I think both sides ought to think more about the feelings of the loyal fans," said Debbie Kmit, attending the game with her niece, Kamela Ferguson. "The Penguins are like part of my family. You get attached to the players. I've been a season-ticket holder and my son is one now. Right now, this team is so much fun to watch. How could you not love them? I don't want to see them leave."

The Penguins already had an offer of free rent to relocate to a new arena in Kansas City next fall, and that offer was sweetened this week so that the option apparently is better than free. Also this week, the Penguins declared an impasse in talks and announced they were aggressively seeing what other deals might be available out there.

The fans who pour their money and their hearts into the Penguins obviously wear their hearts on their sleeves. One group of four young men, part of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,132 that watched the Penguins lose 4-3 in a shootout, went a step farther by wearing their sentiments on their bare chests. Each wore a different painted letter to spell out "NO KC."

As an example of how much the issue has dominated conversation in the city, talk radio devoted more hours of discussion to a meeting between politicians and millionaires in Philadelphia than it did to the Steelers punter.

"We really want them to stay," said Milton Claney of Greensburg, attending the game with his wife, Jackie. "We all have this funny feeling in our stomachs because of this meeting. I go back so far I used to follow the Hornets. Now I take my grandchildren to Penguins games. We are faithful fans. We have a display of Penguins stuff in our family room, so yes, we think they are family. Where are you going to get better hockey fans?"

Turning nostalgic, Mr. Claney thought back to the days when his mother, a beautician from the North Side, was a booster with the Hornets, a minor-league team that preceded the Penguins on the city's hockey scene.

"My mom used to pick the stitches out of the players' faces when they came over to the house. They didn't wear helmets in those days," he recalled. "We would miss the Penguins terribly if they weren't here. Heck, my wife takes it personally when they lose a game."

To show how much of a fixture the Penguins are in the hearts of their followers, groups of fans in attendance spanned generations.

One father/son pairing was Bob and Louis Fabrizi of Murrysville. Bob bought his son's ticket to the game because he wanted to see the Penguins while he is on a two-week leave while serving with the Army's 101st Airborne Division in Balad, Iraq.

"In Iraq, I check the Post-Gazette Web every single day for news on the arena," said the younger Fabrizi, a first lieutenant and pilot of an Apache attack helicopter. "To me, it's very frustrating. I have no idea why they couldn't have come up with a solution before this. I'm really frustrated at the politicians."

Lt. Fabrizi still has three months left after having served eight months at Log Support Area Anaconda. While serving his country overseas, he says that following the Penguins is like having a piece of Pittsburgh with him.

Concerns over getting a deal done were also shared by the work force at Mellon Arena. Some depend on their paychecks at their arena jobs to feed their families or augment their income.

"Everybody's on pins and needles," said John Domitrovic, who has worked at the arena since it opened in 1961 as the home of Civic Light Opera. "It's what everybody is talking about."

Mr. Emrick, who also does national broadcasts as part of the NHL's cable TV deal, goes back to 1970 with the Penguins. He covered Penguins games as a stringer for the Beaver County Times, dropping off his sheets of manually typed game stories through the transom of the newspaper's office. He wasn't paid for his work. It was enough that he got a media pass to attend the games.

"I know what it was like for fans in Quebec and Winnipeg who lost their teams over arena issues," Mr. Emrick said. "Hockey fans historically pay more money for tickets than fans in any other sport. When they pay money for tickets, part of their heart goes through that tray. I can't even imagine Pittsburgh without the Penguins, especially this team.

"The athletic assets of this team are unbelievable. I just hope they're playing here," he said. "What they could accomplish over the next five years could make you heartsick if they went someplace else."

Fans who attend a hockey game are guaranteed to know the result after regulation time, overtime or the tie-breaking shoot-out. An arena full of fans watched their team lose in a shootout to the Devils without knowing with any certainty the results of the meeting in Philadelphia.

Who knows how long they'll have to wait?

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07068/768161-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
03-09-2007, 06:43 AM
:banana: :chicken: :bouncy: :jammin:

Progress in arena talks
Penguins, politicians call four-hour session 'very constructive,' will meet again Wednesday
Friday, March 09, 2007

By Mark Belko
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PHILADELPHIA -- The Penguins aren't packing for Kansas City just yet.

After more than four hours of talks last night, the team and state and local leaders reported "significant progress" in negotiations on a new arena, providing hope for fans just when it seemed as if the franchise might skate off to another city.

In a joint statement, the two sides called last night's session, the first face-to-face gathering since Jan. 18, "very constructive" and said they would meet again Wednesday, at a location to be determined.

Chuck Ardo, a spokesman for Gov. Ed Rendell who read the statement, said there would be no other comment. None of the principals were available for interviews.

The statement was issued more than four hours after Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle and Gov. Ed Rendell, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato convened about 7 p.m. in an undisclosed hotel in Philadelphia hoping to hammer out a deal that has escaped completion for more than two months.

Aiding the effort was National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, who traveled from New York to be part of the session, the first face-to-face meeting that involved both Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle since Jan. 4. Reporters awaited the outcome at City Hall.

"We had a very constructive meeting where significant progress was made. The parties have agreed to meet again next Wednesday," Mr. Ardo said.

The positive news came four days after the two owners declared an impasse in the talks and vowed to aggressively explore a move. Since then, Kansas City, which opens the $276 million Sprint Center this year, has sweetened an offer for the team that already includes free rent and a split of the building revenues.

The offer was so good that Houston, one of the cities interested in the Penguins, dropped out of the bidding.

Despite the Penguins' vow to pursue other cities, Mr. Ardo said before yesterday's meeting the governor was "guardedly optimistic" that a deal still could be reached. He, Mr. Onorato and Mr. Ravenstahl have said they thought the parties were close to an agreement.

At the same time, Mr. Rendell and Mr. Ravenstahl would not rule out an appeal to the NHL to block a move by the Penguins, given the team's passionate fan base in Pittsburgh, which has led to sellout after sellout, and the arena deal on the table.

Mr. Ardo described the start of last night's meeting as "serious and business like."

The Penguins have offered to put up $4 million a year toward the arena - the same amount Mr. Rendell requested from them a year ago. The team contribution included $3.6 million a year in rent and $400,000 annually for capital improvements.

It also agreed to pay $500,000 a year for a parking garage as part of the arena complex.

Despite that, the parties have been unable to reach a deal. The rest of the arena funding would come from $7.5 million a year from Pittsburgh casino winner Don Barden and $7.5 million from a gambling-financed state economic development fund, up $500,000 from an earlier offer.

In their letter declaring the impasse, Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle said they were concerned about the appeals of the casino award to Mr. Barden, saying the litigation creates more uncertainty about arena financing.

The Penguins had partnered with Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. in its unsuccessful bid for the license. Isle of Capri, which pledged $290 million for an arena as part of its proposal, is one of those appealing the award.

Sources close to the team also have complained about the treatment the Penguins have received from public officials, which included a table-pounding outburst by Mr. Rendell Jan. 18. Last week, the state refused to share interest rate information with the team, creating even more friction.

The letter declaring an impasse came even though Mr. Rendell, Mr. Onorato, and Mr. Ravenstahl thought the parties were close to a deal.

Among the remaining hang-ups were how to pay for an extra $20 million added as a contingency to a proposed arena bond issue. The extra $20 million increased the bond issue from $270 million to $290 million.

The parties also were in dispute over who would pay if the guaranteed maximum price for the arena came in about the available funding. The Penguins have agreed to pay for cost overruns, but only above the guaranteed maximum price.

Mr. Rendell said the parties had all but settled differences over development rights to the site of Mellon Arena, which would be demolished, and parking revenues.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07068/768164-61.stm

HometownGal
03-09-2007, 07:55 AM
Guys - c'mon. Please don't post articles on the same topic that have already been posted or post an article from a different media outlet on the exact same subject. It is so easy to do a Search prior to posting or simply using the scroll or back buttons to see if anything was posted on the same topic.

Thanks! :smile:

Edman
03-09-2007, 07:57 AM
Well, I was almost wrong. This thing is still up in the air. The momentum is back in Pittsburgh's court now, now will we seize the moment and score our Pens back? Stay tuned to the next episode of "As the Penguins turn".

Kuck Fansas City!

HometownGal
03-09-2007, 08:01 AM
Yes, but you're forgetting one major factor in all of this - the almighty dollar. You don't think the owners' votes couldn't be "bought," so to speak? That they couldn't somehow be convinced that the league, and therefore they, would make more money if the Pens move? Well I do. Why? Because greed trumps all.

I trust NO ONE in this saga.

I don't agree with this theory at all, as most of the owners have been around the NHL long enough to see which franchises are marketable and which are not. KC has already been tried and has failed. I don't believe for one minute that any owner would stoop that low. I'm still keeping the faith that a deal is going to get done. :cheers:

83-Steelers-43
03-09-2007, 08:06 AM
Well, I was almost wrong. This thing is still up in the air. The momentum is back in Pittsburgh's court now, now will we seize the moment and score our Pens back? Stay tuned to the next episode of "As the Penguins turn".

Kuck Fansas City!

Well I do not think many were expecting a clear cut answer last night. Were you? While a deal is not complete, I'll take "significant progress" and "very constructive" over reports of "talks failing" and Fast Eddie pounding his fists on the table like the PGG article stated (first time I heard he did that in a Pgh article and found it very interesting).

Anyways, here's to hoping Wednesday turns out just as well. Keep the faith! :cheers:

HometownGal
03-09-2007, 08:14 AM
Penguins fans give politicians the cold shoulder

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, March 9, 2007

To best describe her feelings about the cloud of uncertainty hovering above her favorite hockey team, Natalie Sciulli called upon a classic Tom Petty tune.

"The waiting has been the hardest part," Sciulli, 20, said. "That's been the worst part, actually. The possibility of (a new arena deal) getting done and then it not getting done -- it's been really hard."

The Penguins' game against the New Jersey Devils at Mellon Arena on Thursday was "at least the 20th of the season" for Sciulli, of Crafton. She attended with her younger sister, Michelle, 16, who claimed to have been at every home game.

Like dozens among the sold-out crowd last night, the Sciullis arrived armed with a sign that showed great displeasure with public officials' inability to reach a deal on a new Uptown arena that would keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

The sign was a play on the popular Geico caveman commercials. It read: "Keeping the Pens here so easy a POLITICIAN can do it."

Gov. Ed Rendell's name was not very popular inside the NHL's oldest building last night even as he, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl met with Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle in Philadelphia in an attempt to end the arena saga.

Numerous fans came to the arena wearing yellow T-shirts with one message: "STAY." One fan wore a self-made jersey that read "Relocate Rendell." Hanging signs stated "Someone Is About To 2 Lose 17,000 Votes" and "If You Build It We Will Come."

A popular team Internet message board had challenged fans to show support for a new arena by starting a "Save the Pens!" chant to open the game. It worked.

Walking along a concourse prior to the national anthem, Matt Wilberger, 22, of Sewickley, proudly sported an old Hartford Whalers replica jersey. That team moved to Carolina in 1997, and Wilberger hoped somebody would take notice of the connection.

"It could happen to us," Wilberger said, flashing a crossed-out Whalers crest with "Save the Pens!" inked on the duct tape.

Jack Haughey did not want to hear any such talk.

"Look around," said Haughey, 68, of McKeesport. "These are great hockey fans. A lot of other cities aren't selling out. We are."

Haughey was at the game with his wife, Nancy, 67. The couple has owned a 20-game plan for years.

"And we plan on keeping it for years to come, into a new arena," Nancy Haughey said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496915.html

I'm sure we will see the same atmosphere at the Pens/Rangers game tomorrow afternoon! :banana: I'm glad people are letting their voices be heard.

Jeremy
03-09-2007, 09:32 AM
Yes, but you're forgetting one major factor in all of this - the almighty dollar. You don't think the owners' votes couldn't be "bought," so to speak? That they couldn't somehow be convinced that the league, and therefore they, would make more money if the Pens move? Well I do. Why? Because greed trumps all.

I trust NO ONE in this saga.

What money? We're talking about Kansas City here! There's not enough money in the world to get the NHL to move it's best young team to that backwards hick town.

X-Terminator
03-09-2007, 10:37 AM
I don't agree with this theory at all, as most of the owners have been around the NHL long enough to see which franchises are marketable and which are not. KC has already been tried and has failed. I don't believe for one minute that any owner would stoop that low. I'm still keeping the faith that a deal is going to get done. :cheers:


What money? We're talking about Kansas City here! There's not enough money in the world to get the NHL to move it's best young team to that backwards hick town.

Hey, I know it's farfetched, but we're talking about millions of dollars here. Many businessmen would sell out their own mother if it could make them a few million bucks more, and I'm quite sure it isn't any different among the NHL owners. And Ed Rendell simply does not care about Pittsburgh, plain and simple. I'm sorry, but I just can't share your optimism - the only way I'll feel optimistic is if they announce a tentative agreement. Until then, I believe the moving trucks are standing by.

Jeremy
03-09-2007, 10:40 AM
The NHL has been forced to look at the long term health of their league this past season. The vast majority of America doesn't give a damn for hockey right now. I'd be willing to bet that most people couldn't tell you what channel OLN was on their local cable system. The BOG will not be dumb enough to allow the strongest current US hockey market to be abandoned so that one of their teams can go to a market which will not support hockey.

If the NHL somehow does allow this to go through, I'm done with hockey for a long time.

Counselor
03-09-2007, 11:47 AM
Hey, I know it's farfetched, but we're talking about millions of dollars here. Many businessmen would sell out their own mother if it could make them a few million bucks more, and I'm quite sure it isn't any different among the NHL owners. And Ed Rendell simply does not care about Pittsburgh, plain and simple. I'm sorry, but I just can't share your optimism - the only way I'll feel optimistic is if they announce a tentative agreement. Until then, I believe the moving trucks are standing by.


The league is better off monetarily if the Pens stay in Pittsburgh, plain and simple. The top hockey cities, the prime time games and the press are based in the east. The crazy NHL schedule has east teams mostly playing other east teams. The league needs Sidney Crosby in the east.

The Pens too will be better off (if they get an arena) monetarily (long term) if they stay in Pgh. Do you wonder why, with free rent they aren't already in KC? Its because the fan base is in Pgh to support the team---buying tickets, buying jerseys, buys stuff. You can have the best arena in the world for free, but without fans your team won't survive.

I am cautiously optimistic. Everyone--(league, Pa officials, Pens owners, media) knows that the team staying in Pgh is best for EVERYONE. The deal just needs to get done.

Jeremy
03-09-2007, 12:37 PM
The NHL would suffer a huge financial and PR blow if the Penguins wind up in Kansas City. I'm sorry KC, but you're not a hockey town. There is nothing there to indicate to me that KC would support a hockey team. After the novelty wears off, they'll treat the Penguins like the Royals.

But don't worry KC. You built an arena with the hopes that someone would be dumb enough to relocate a team to your city. It will happen. The Nashville Predators are looking for a new home as are the Seattle Super Sonics. It's going to happen sooner or later. But it won't happen at the expense of a real sports city.

X-Terminator
03-10-2007, 12:23 AM
Penguins' arena negotiations details kept quiet

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, March 10, 2007

Public officials are trying to close a deal for a new Uptown arena that would keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said Friday.

That's why they agreed to say little publicly about negotiations with the team after a meeting in Philadelphia, which produced an agreement to meet again Wednesday.

The talks are focused on "a lot of details with leases, with debt service, with financing," Onorato said. Asked what sticking point was holding up an agreement, he said, "I'm not even going to say there is any."

"Our concern is to get a deal done, and we don't want to disrupt that by having misinformation get out there," Onorato said. "Right now, we're trying to close the deal."

Team owners and public officials met for more than four hours Thursday, and a spokesman reported "significant progress" toward an arena financing agreement. The Penguins' lease at Mellon Arena expires in June.

For a new arena, team owners have agreed to pay $3.6 million annually for 30 years in rent and $400,000 a year for capital improvements. The team has said it also would pay $500,000 a year for a parking garage.

"We're getting there," Onorato said. "We had a good meeting. We have another one scheduled, and that's good news."

The arena would be built on property owned by the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority between Centre and Fifth avenues. The agency plans to break ground by September and complete construction by fall 2009.

This week's meeting included team co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, Gov. Ed Rendell, Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman mediated the talks.

"We had a productive meeting last night, and we're optimistic because of the agreement to meet next Wednesday," Ravenstahl said.

Neither the Penguins nor the NHL would comment.

Penguins officials were scheduled to meet today in Los Angeles with officials from AEG, the company hired to operate Kansas City's new Sprint Center, said Steve Glorioso, spokesman for Kansas City's mayor. Burkle is a close friend of AEG President Tim Leiweke, and the two are neighbors in a suburb of Beverly Hills.

"(Burkle and Leiweke) speak on a regular basis, and I absolutely expect that they will be talking to each other over the next few days," said AEG spokesman Michael Roth.

After declaring an impasse in talks for a Pittsburgh arena on Monday, the Penguins renewed discussion with AEG officials in Los Angeles on Wednesday. In January, Lemieux and Burkle toured the Sprint Center construction site during a visit to Kansas City. The building is expected to open in October.

Glorioso earlier this week confirmed that AEG improved its offer of free rent and partial revenues for the Penguins, but he did not know specifics of the deal. Kansas City has been trying to lure the team to play there beginning next season.

Ravenstahl said no one involved in Thursday's discussion mentioned the subject of the Penguins making more trips to interested cities. Burkle met Wednesday with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

"We really didn't get into that," Ravenstahl said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_496987.html

SteelCityMan786
03-10-2007, 10:26 AM
Good Idea keeping negotiations quiet. They know what happend the last time they revealed anything from the talks.

Jeremy
03-10-2007, 10:34 AM
Most of the talking has been coming from the government's side anyway. The Pens have stayed mostly quiet except for the letter.

83-Steelers-43
03-10-2007, 10:41 AM
Hopefully Rendell is capable of keeping his mouth shut even though both sides have been guilty of reaching out to the media in order to make their point(s) known.

83-Steelers-43
03-11-2007, 08:56 AM
Burkle likely to gain more control
Sunday, March 11, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Part-owner Rob Burkle has been heavily involved in the Penguins' negotiations for a new arena.

And when he's done with those talks -- however they play out -- Burkle might move on to a new set of negotiations: One designed to give him controlling interest in the franchise.

While he apparently has not made a decision, let alone a commitment, Burkle is considering the merits of buying most, if not all, of Mario Lemieux's interest in the team.

Previously, indications had been that all members of the current ownership group would look to sell off their shares once the arena issue is resolved. If Burkle, a billionaire who lives near Los Angeles, decides to become the team's dominant owner, it's conceivable that Lemieux and some minor members of his group would retain at least a tiny portion of the team.

Burkle attended the Penguins' 3-2 overtime victory against the New York Rangers at Mellon Arena yesterday but, in keeping with his habit of trying to maintain a low profile, did not speak with reporters.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07070/768612-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
03-11-2007, 09:35 AM
Smizik: Blame Rendell if deal fails
Sunday, March 11, 2007

By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

During the long and heated run-up to the awarding of the Pittsburgh slots license, this column was a frequent defender of Gov. Ed Rendell. The belief here was that Penguins/Isle of Capri supporters were unfairly attacking Rendell, even going so far as to tell lies when they thought their outrageous exaggerations weren't enough.

They were furious Rendell was not supporting the IOC proposal, although he would have been derelict in his duties if he had not remained neutral because he appointed three members of the Gaming Control Board. They were livid when Rendell proposed Plan B, although he was acting in the best interest of the Penguins and their fans by doing so -- as subsequent events have shown.

In short, we believed Rendell conducted himself in a responsible manner.

We wish we could say the same today.

In the past two months, Rendell has behaved more like a dunce than a leader, more like a man interested in obstructing the process of getting a new arena for Pittsburgh instead of furthering it.

Had this been a Philadelphia franchise in peril, rest assured his actions would not have been so cavalier. Should the Penguins leave for Kansas City, and the belief here is that will not happen, Rendell will be the man most responsible.

As the power broker in these negotiations -- the only politician with money to spend -- Rendell has behaved recklessly in allowing the process to go as far as it has. His inability -- or was it his refusal -- to get a deal done served to whet the appetite of Kansas City, which originally, and understandably, believed it had almost no chance to get the Penguins.

A meeting Thursday in Philadelphia, one in which NHL commissioner Gary Bettman joined the talks, was fruitful and it looks like plans are moving ahead, although it's too early for any celebrating.

But it didn't have to get this far.

Kansas City was involved in this process more as a stake in the future than in any real hope of landing the Penguins. But as the negotiating process slowed to a crawl, Kansas City, which is offering a new and rent-free arena, saw reason for hope. When the state refused to release important financial information to the Penguins last week, it prompted the team to write a letter to Rendell, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl saying they considered the talks at an impasse and would pursue relocation.

All of a sudden, Kansas City thought it had a chance and reportedly sweetened its offer. Which means the delay was costly if government has to match the Kansas City offer.

This all started so superbly on Jan 4. in a meeting in Pittsburgh that was attended by the three elected officials, Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle and team president Ken Sawyer. The Penguins were so pleased with the meeting, in which the state gave an overview of what it would do, that although Lemieux had not planned to comment at its conclusion he did.

" . . . I'm optimistic with the meeting that we had today with the politicians here in town that they're willing to step up and talk about some issues that were a big concern for us going back seven years,'' he said.

The Penguins felt so good about what was happening in Pittsburgh they put on hold plans to visit other cities.

When the sides met two weeks later, with Lemieux not in attendance, it was a different Rendell on the other side of the table. He played the part of a bully, yelling and pounding the table like a schoolboy. It's possible, those tactics work in political circles. They're not going to work with Burkle, a multi-billionaire, who has been involved with considerably bigger deals than this. They're not going to work with Chuck Greenberg, Lemieux's long-time lawyer, who is a master negotiator and not the type to be backed down by a tantrum.

In the intervening weeks, Rendell made threats about going to the NHL to stop a relocation, if all else failed. His oft-stated reason was that considering the Penguins are drawing well, unlike some teams that change location, there's no way the NHL would allow the Penguins to leave. He was correct that the NHL does not want one of its best franchises to leave. He was incorrect in believing the NHL could do anything to stop such a move.

If the powerful NFL cannot stop franchises from moving, it's highly unlikely the NHL could prevent the relocation of a franchise, especially one without a lease.

It was typical of the do-nothing approach Rendell took for too long.

With the positive news coming out of the meeting Thursday, it looks like a deal will be struck, an arena will be built and the Penguins will stay. It that happens, some will consider Rendell a hero. Don't you believe it.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07070/768599-194.stm

HometownGal
03-11-2007, 09:59 AM
With the positive news coming out of the meeting Thursday, it looks like a deal will be struck, an arena will be built and the Penguins will stay. It that happens, some will consider Rendell a hero. Don't you believe it.

No need to worry - I won't. I'll still consider him a pompous, fat do-nothing turd, just as I always have.

Jeremy
03-11-2007, 10:07 AM
Eddie is a typical Philly blowhard. It's almost painful for me to know that the Pens will probably stay in Pittsburgh in part thanks to him.

SteelCityMan786
03-11-2007, 11:11 AM
I'd still hate him, just not as much if he gets the deal done.

X-Terminator
03-11-2007, 11:41 AM
He was correct that the NHL does not want one of its best franchises to leave. He was incorrect in believing the NHL could do anything to stop such a move.

If the powerful NFL cannot stop franchises from moving, it's highly unlikely the NHL could prevent the relocation of a franchise, especially one without a lease.

Pretty much the same thing I have been saying all along, and why I do not share the same optimism that others do. It doesn't matter if the league doesn't want the Pens to leave, they will make it happen if it comes to that.

Edman
03-11-2007, 05:06 PM
Stay or Go, I'll still despise Rendell too. The article is right, it shouldn't have gone this far or reached this point where the NHL has to sit in on the talks. I'm sure if Bettman wasn't there last Thursday, Rendell would've typically acted like an ass, and this thing goes nowhere.

Jeremy
03-11-2007, 08:07 PM
Pretty much the same thing I have been saying all along, and why I do not share the same optimism that others do. It doesn't matter if the league doesn't want the Pens to leave, they will make it happen if it comes to that.

The NFL let their LA teams leave because there was no support for the Rams and Raiders in LaLa Land. Pittsburgh and the Pens are a far different story.

SteelCityMan786
03-11-2007, 08:14 PM
The NFL let their LA teams leave because there was no support for the Rams and Raiders in LaLa Land. Pittsburgh and the Pens are a far different story.

:iagree: in Pittsburgh there is actual support for the team. La la land didn't really support their teams.

HometownGal
03-11-2007, 10:16 PM
The NFL let their LA teams leave because there was no support for the Rams and Raiders in LaLa Land. Pittsburgh and the Pens are a far different story.

I couldn't agree with you more, Jeremy. :thumbsup: I am going to continue to be optimistic and believe that the Pens are going to stay right here in the Burgh until I hear firsthand that a deal cannot be reached.

HometownGal
03-12-2007, 11:04 PM
Bob Pompeani just reported on KDKA TV News that a deal has been reached between state and local officials and the Penguins! WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!! :cheers:

The official announcement is forthcoming and the meeting scheduled for Wednesday will still be held to cross all of the "i"'s and dot all the "t"'s!!!

I'm one happy lady tonight! LETS GO PENS!!!! :banana: :banana: :banana:

http://kdka.com/topstories/local_story_071223515.html

(KDKA) PITTSBURGH After all the uncertainty, and the back and forth discussion over whether the Pittsburgh Penguins would stay here or possibly leave town, the long wait could finally over.

KDKA sources confirm that the new arena deal is done.

KDKA’s Bob Pompeani reports that the city, the state, and the Penguins have all come to an agreement over how to build and pay for a new arena.

And that means the Pens will stay right here in Pittsburgh.

Pompeani reports that an official announcement is expected before tomorrow night's home game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Last week's meeting in Philadelphia lasted more than four hours and produced significant progress on the framework for a new multi-purpose arena. Some bigger stumbling blocks were finance rates on an extra $20 million added as a contingency to a proposed arena bond issue.

Sources tell Pompeani that the overall price tag will be higher than the original $290 million that was first discussed.

The Penguins have agreed to put up four million a year toward a new building. They also have agreed to put up $500,000 a year for a new parking garage in the arena complex.

While the recent appeals of the casino license awarded to Don Barden were of concern to the Penguins, Thursday's meeting in Philadelphia seemed to soften their concerns, and paved the way for this agreement, which will keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future.

There is still a meeting scheduled for this Wednesday to fully finish the deal.

83-Steelers-43
03-12-2007, 11:48 PM
HAHAHAHAHHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

SCM, Kept the faith and there we go baby!!!! The PENS ARE STAYING IN DA'BURGH WHERE THEY BELONG!!!!

HAHAHAHHAH!!!!

83-Steelers-43
03-12-2007, 11:53 PM
F-KC.....F-Houston..........F-Las Vegas..........F-Okalohma City.......THE PENS ARE STAYING HERE BABY!!!!!

Penguins, officials reach deal on arena
Monday, March 12, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Cancel the movers. The Penguins aren't going anywhere.

Sources close to the negotiations say that the team has an agreement with state and local leaders for a new arena that will be ready for the 2009-10 season.

The terms of the agreement call for a 30-year lease and spell out contributions from the team, the state and from gambling revenues.

A formal announcement is expected sometime tomorrow, prior to the Penguins home game at 7:30 p.m. against the Buffalo Sabres. More details to come.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07071/769025-100.stm

X-Terminator
03-13-2007, 12:33 AM
Thank God! WOOOOHOOOOO!!!! I'm SO glad my team is staying right where it belongs!!! What a great way to kick off a long night at work :dancing:

And since I had so little faith in the process and was so sure the Pens were leaving, I'm here to take my spanking like a man :wink02:

:upyours: Kansas City!!!

X-Terminator
03-13-2007, 12:55 AM
Full Post-Gazette story. Mods, feel free to remove this post if it is not allowed.

Arena deal keeps Penguins in Pittsburgh

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The puck stays here.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have reached an agreement with state and local officials for construction of a new arena that will keep the team here under a 30-year lease.

The basics of the agreement were reached in a make-or-break meeting last week in Philadelphia, where both sides reported that significant progress was made. Most remaining details were worked out over the weekend, according to sources close to the negotiations.

A formal announcement will be made later today, prior to the Penguins 7:30 p.m. home game against the Buffalo Sabres. Gov. Ed Rendell is expected to be on hand for the announcement.

The arena, which will cost about $290 million, is expected to be ready for the 2009-2010 National Hockey League season. The Penguins will continue to play at Mellon Arena under a short-term lease extension until the new arena is built.

Under terms of the deal, the Pens will pay $3.8 million per year toward construction and will add another $400,000 per year for capital improvements.

A meeting had been scheduled here for tomorrow, where Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle were supposed to meet with Mr. Rendell, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and County Chief Executive Dan Onorato.

It was not clear last night whether that meeting would still be held. It may only be needed to go over details of a deal that officials have been seeking for months.

Chuck Ardo, the governor's spokesman, said last night that he could not confirm there was a deal.

Neither Mr. Lemieux nor Mr. Burkle could be reached for comment last night.

But there was growing optimism that an agreement was near after Thursday's meeting in Philadelphia that lasted more than four hours.

The mood following that meeting was quite a turnaround from the climate only four days before, when Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle sent a letter to the politicians declaring an impasse in the talks and saying they would aggressively explore relocation.

What followed was a trip to Las Vegas, which is pursuing professional sports teams, and a sweetened offer from Kansas City, where the $276 million Sprint Center will be ready this year. The new offer improved on a deal that included free rent and half the building revenues.

With the Penguins' future in Pittsburgh hanging in the balance, Thursday's session in Philadelphia apparently significantly narrowed the differences between the two sides.

Neither Mr. Onorato nor Mr. Ravenstahl were available for comment yesterday.

Even before Thursday's meeting, the two sides did not appear to be far apart. In addition to paying for a share of the construction costs and capital improvements, the Penguins also agreed to pay $500,000 a year for a parking garage.

The rest of the funding would come from Pittsburgh casino licensee Don Barden, who would contribute $7.5 million a year, and from a gambling-financed state economic development fund, which would contribute $7.5 million annually..

One unresolved issue going into Thursday's meeting was how to pay the extra $20 million that was added as a contingency to a proposed arena bond issue, increasing it from $270 million to $290 million. Another sticking point was who would bear construction cost overruns.

The Penguins and the state have agreed to split the cost of any additional costs exceeding $290 million, up to a maximum of $310 million, sources said.

Even as negotiators were working on a final deal, the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority has fallen behind schedule in demolishing 11 buildings in the Fifth and Centre Avenue corridors in Uptown for the new arena.

The work probably won't start for another two weeks, said Doug Straley, authority development manager. The authority originally had hoped to begin in early February.

Despite the delay, Mr. Straley said the authority still expects to have the site cleared by Sept. 1, when construction of the arena is expected to start, with hopes of opening it in 2009.

He said demolition of the 11 buildings -- nine on Fifth Avenue and two on the Epiphany Church campus -- is expected to take four months. Empire Dismantlement Corp. of Grand Island, N.Y., received a $926,419 contract to do the work.

"This demolition can get done well within the time frame to deliver the site," he said.

In explaining the delay, Mr. Straley cited the Feb. 5 collapse of a section of flooring at the authority-owned David L. Lawrence Convention Center, saying that diverted staff time away from the arena. He also said it took longer than expected to remove asbestos from the buildings to be razed.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07072/769032-85.stm

jjpro11
03-13-2007, 01:06 AM
hahahahaha to all the KC pricks who thought they were going to steal the pens right from under us! the only place theyre going is straight to the stanley cup finals!! :jammin: :banana:

Borski
03-13-2007, 01:32 AM
I was sure (mabey more than I should have been) that they would eventually make a deal to stay here, but it took longer than I expected.

I'm glad this is finally done

Edman
03-13-2007, 01:48 AM
:banana: :cheers: :thumbsup: :jammin: :bouncy:

The Penguins aren't going anywhere! They're saved and they're staying! Hallejuah! I have never been so happy to be wrong in my entire life! We get a new arena for a young, up and coming Penguins Team! Woo-freaking-hoo! :jammin:

Kuck you, Fansas City! The hell with all you KC douches. You ARE NOT getting our Penguins!

Edman
03-13-2007, 02:10 AM
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c277/1233456789/YouGetNothingKC.png

Great Pic from the Official Penguins forum.:sofunny:

RoethlisBURGHer
03-13-2007, 02:45 AM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=ap-penguins-arena&prov=ap&type=lgns

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins have reached a deal with city, county and state officials on financing for a new arena, a television station reported Monday night.

KDKA-TV, citing unidentified sources, said the deal is "done" and will be announced before Tuesday's game against the Buffalo Sabres at Mellon Arena.

Penguins officials didn't immediately return calls for comment, nor did a spokesman for Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.

A spokesman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he knew nothing of a deal.

"I never heard that. I heard nothing like that," Dick Skrinjar said.

A spokesman for Gov. Ed Rendell refused to confirm the deal.

"I can't confirm a report of any settlement," Chuck Ardo said. "The sides have communicated since last Thursday. This is an ongoing process."

Team and elected officials met last week in Philadelphia, along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The sides then issued a joint statement saying they had a "very constructive meeting where significant progress was made."

The sides agreed to meet again on Wednesday. KDKA said that meeting is still on schedule, but only for minor details to be ironed out.

The television station reported that the new arena will be more expensive than the $290 million projected by the Penguins.

Rendell had said he thought the arena could be built for about $270 million, and the two sides were said to be haggling over how and whether to add an extra $20 million to a bond issue needed to fund the arena.

KDKA reported that the bond issue questions have been settled, along with other details, clearing the way for a new arena.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, citing unidentified sources, says the deal includes a 30-year lease and calls for the arena to be completed by the start of the 2009-10 NHL season.

The Penguins have threatened to leave Pittsburgh if they can't secure a new rink. Their lease at 46-year-old Mellon Arena, the oldest facility in the league, expires June 30 and the team is free to leave after that.

Team owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle have visited Kansas City, Mo., and Las Vegas to field arena offers from those cities.

I hope this is true and someone ain't jaggin us.

KEEP THE PENS IN PITTSBURGH!

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 08:28 AM
"A spokesman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he knew nothing of a deal."

I wouldn't expect a "spokesman" for the mayor to make the official announcement.

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 09:00 AM
Good job by both sides of sitting down and getting this deal done. While it took a long time, it never takes a short amount of time when your dealing in the high millions. It takes time. As I've stated before, it's not like the Penguins were trying to sell a car or house.

While it was scary at times I knew this team wouldn't leave this city. IMO, both sides would have suffered if this team left. The future owner of the Pens will make a nice chunk of change in this city. The politicians won't take heat for this team leaving. The NHL keeps a team in a great hockey market. It only made sense.

I can't wait to be around the crowd at tonights game. It's going to be CRAZY in that arena tonight.

GAME ON!!!!!

Counselor
03-13-2007, 09:09 AM
:thumbsup: SI is reproting the same.

Thank God! Its a great day for the 'Burgh---now lets get back to that playoff race.

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 09:13 AM
Thank God! Its a great day for the 'Burgh---now lets get back to that playoff race.

AMEN to that!

:cheers:

memphissteelergirl
03-13-2007, 09:35 AM
I raise a glass of sweet tea to y'all!! :toast: I know this has been slow torture for you guys. Congrats! Now you guys can cheer for the Pens all the way to the Stanley Cup finals! And I will be cheering right along with ya! :cheer:

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 09:37 AM
I raise a glass of sweet tea to y'all!! :toast: I know this has been slow torture for you guys. Congrats! Now you guys can cheer for the Pens all the way to the Stanley Cup finals! And I will be cheering right along with ya! :cheer:

Thanks MSG. :cheers:

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 09:38 AM
Rendell credits casinos with keeping Penguins in city
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

By Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- Gov. Ed Rendell today credited the anticipated revenue from Pennsylvania's new casinos for keeping the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Rendell spoke this morning at a Spectrum Gaming Group conference in Harrisburg about gaming in Pennsylvania.

"This afternoon I am traveling to Pittsburgh, where we will announce that all three government entities (state, county, city) have agreed to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh for the next 30 years. We will build a beautiful new arena.

"Make no mistake about it -- without expanded gaming in Pennsylvania, the Penguins would be gone. The first puck would have been dropped next year in Kansas City."

Kansas City has an almost-finished new arena and has been seeking a hockey team.

The new Pittsburgh arena will be financed by a bond issue with annual debt service payments of $21 million. Of that, $15 million a year will come from gaming, he said, $7.5 million from slots license winner Don Barden and another $7.5 million from a new entertainment fund paid for with gaming dollars.

"If you dont like gaming, understand that we would have lost a very important institution for Pittsburgh. The Penguins would have been gone," Mr. Rendell said.

"There is no way that the county executive or the mayor would have used taxpayers' money to build the arena. There are limits to what the state could do. Nowhere close to a $15 million commitment from the state would have been possible without gaming."

Sources told the Post-Gazette last night that remaining details of the deal had been worked out over the weekend and the formal announcement would be made before tonight's hockey game.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07072/769064-100.stm

PisnNapalm
03-13-2007, 10:39 AM
Wo0t!! A few days ago I thought we were going to lose the Pens.

WOOHOO!!

HometownGal
03-13-2007, 10:45 AM
Wo0t!! A few days ago I thought we were going to lose the Pens.

WOOHOO!!

I never lost the faith that a deal would get done. I didn't believe for one minute that Mario wanted to take the Pens away from us - he played hardball and more power to him! :cheers:

"This afternoon I am traveling to Pittsburgh, where we will announce that all three government entities (state, county, city) have agreed to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh for the next 30 years. We will build a beautiful new arena.


I think we all can rest assured now that the Pens are in Pittsburgh to stay! :banana:

X-Terminator
03-13-2007, 10:51 AM
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c277/1233456789/YouGetNothingKC.png

Great Pic from the Official Penguins forum.:sofunny:

LOL! I love it! :sofunny:

floodcitygirl
03-13-2007, 10:53 AM
Although I've never followed hockey much myself, I know how important the Pen's are to Pittsburgh and to so many of you. I'm so happy for you that it turned out this way Congrats to all! :cheers:

X-Terminator
03-13-2007, 10:55 AM
I raise a glass of sweet tea to y'all!! :toast: I know this has been slow torture for you guys. Congrats! Now you guys can cheer for the Pens all the way to the Stanley Cup finals! And I will be cheering right along with ya! :cheer:

Thank ya kindly, MSG! As the late, great Pens coach "Badger" Bob Johnson once said, "It's a great day for hockey!" :cheers:

X-Terminator
03-13-2007, 10:58 AM
I never lost the faith that a deal would get done. I didn't believe for one minute that Mario wanted to take the Pens away from us - he played hardball and more power to him! :cheers:



I think we all can rest assured now that the Pens are in Pittsburgh to stay! :banana:

Admittedly I still had some lingering doubts this morning, but after reading that quote from Rendell, that seals the deal for me! I almost shed a tear when I rode past the new arena site on the way home from work - I couldn't be happier! :cheers:

EDIT - found this on the Trib's website - an actual KC Penguins forum! Don't let the name get you too upset though - it seems that many of the members didn't want the Pens to leave Pittsburgh, and most gave sincere congrats on the arena deal.

http://www.mykcpenguins.com/forum/

Edman
03-13-2007, 11:38 AM
A New Arena benefits Pittsburgh greatly. Everybody wins. Except for Kansas City...Lol.

-New Shiny Arena for concerts
-Penguins are saved
-Those crappy houses in uptown will likely be torn down.
-Opens the way for businesses and new housing projects to open along side our New Arena (I hope). Just like Heinz and PNC revived the North Side.
-Luke and Dan save their jobs
-Rendell becomes less of a Philly fathead
-NHL keeps a team in a great hockey market with a rabid fanbase who care deeply about their team.
-The ownership makes a killing. Just watch them rake in the profits.

And the most exciting part is, this Penguins team is STILL YOUNG and in the thick of the playoff chase.

I predict great things for Pittsburgh. This is simply wonderful.

HometownGal
03-13-2007, 11:44 AM
A New Arena benefits Pittsburgh greatly. Everybody wins. Except for Kansas City...Lol.

-New Shiny Arena for concerts
-Penguins are saved
-Those crappy houses in uptown will likely be torn down.
-Opens the way for businesses and new housing projects to open along side our New Arena (I hope). Just like Heinz and PNC revived the North Side.
-Luke and Dan save their jobs
-Rendell becomes less of a Philly fathead
-NHL keeps a team in a great hockey market with a rabid fanbase who care deeply about their team.
-The ownership makes a killing. Just watch them rake in the profits.

And the most exciting part is, this Penguins team is STILL YOUNG and in the thick of the playoff chase.

I predict great things for Pittsburgh. This is simply wonderful.

Great post, Edman! :cheers:

The house is gonna be rocking tonight at Mellon Arena! :banana:

Jeremy
03-13-2007, 12:06 PM
Luke just won the election for mayor. They might as well not even hold the election because it would be a hige waste of taxpayer money.

steelerbackr4life
03-13-2007, 01:44 PM
Congrats! Da Burgh deserved to keep the Pens! Im so glad to see that Pittsburgh didnt get screwed!

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 02:36 PM
Penguins players happy to know future is in Pittsburgh
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

News of agreement on an arena deal that will keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh was the grand topic following the team's morning skate today.

Perhaps no player had a more vested interest in the team remaining in town than winger Ryan Malone, who grew up in Upper St. Clair.

"I'm sure everyone's happy, especially the fans," said Malone. "All the guys here don't want to leave. It's good to know that you might be here next year. It's a little peace of mind, a little security.

"But the big winners are the fans and the city of Pittsburgh. Hopefully, in a couple of years, we're going to have a great place to play."

The Penguins players come from all over the world, and many could easily have settled in another NHL city if circumstances had been different.

That doesn't mean they were indifferent to the future of the franchise.

"Throughout this whole thing, a lot of guys realized -- or I hope they have -- that as players we want to be here," star center Sidney Crosby said. "Other teams, that might not have been the case, but I think here, especially with the young guys who have only been here a couple of years, everyone wanted to be here. We're all really happy. We owe a lot of thanks for the support we've gotten here."

Although the players didn't talk much publicly about the unsettled future of the club over the past several months, they were thinking about it.

"Every player was kind of scared, hoping and talking about it," center Maxime Talbot said. "Everybody wants to stay here. It's a great city. Even if we're going to stay in Mellon [Arena] for the next few years, when it's sold out it's a great place to play in."

With the news coming on the day of a home game, the Penguins expect a rousing reception tonight when they play host to Buffalo, which leads the Eastern Conference.

"I think it will definitely be loud enough to get goose bumps," Malone said. "Just for the game in general, I think it will be exciting, but with the good news, I think fans will be twice as excited and it will be twice as loud, which will make for a great atmosphere to play in."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07072/769089-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 02:39 PM
For the out of towners who are interested, KDKA is having a live webcast for the conference at 5:00.

www.kdka.com

Jeremy
03-13-2007, 02:47 PM
Penguins players happy to know future is in Pittsburgh
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

News of agreement on an arena deal that will keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh was the grand topic following the team's morning skate today.

Perhaps no player had a more vested interest in the team remaining in town than winger Ryan Malone, who grew up in Upper St. Clair.

"I'm sure everyone's happy, especially the fans," said Malone. "All the guys here don't want to leave. It's good to know that you might be here next year. It's a little peace of mind, a little security.

"But the big winners are the fans and the city of Pittsburgh. Hopefully, in a couple of years, we're going to have a great place to play."

The Penguins players come from all over the world, and many could easily have settled in another NHL city if circumstances had been different.

That doesn't mean they were indifferent to the future of the franchise.

"Throughout this whole thing, a lot of guys realized -- or I hope they have -- that as players we want to be here," star center Sidney Crosby said. "Other teams, that might not have been the case, but I think here, especially with the young guys who have only been here a couple of years, everyone wanted to be here. We're all really happy. We owe a lot of thanks for the support we've gotten here."

Although the players didn't talk much publicly about the unsettled future of the club over the past several months, they were thinking about it.

"Every player was kind of scared, hoping and talking about it," center Maxime Talbot said. "Everybody wants to stay here. It's a great city. Even if we're going to stay in Mellon [Arena] for the next few years, when it's sold out it's a great place to play in."

With the news coming on the day of a home game, the Penguins expect a rousing reception tonight when they play host to Buffalo, which leads the Eastern Conference.

"I think it will definitely be loud enough to get goose bumps," Malone said. "Just for the game in general, I think it will be exciting, but with the good news, I think fans will be twice as excited and it will be twice as loud, which will make for a great atmosphere to play in."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07072/769089-61.stm

Of course they're happy. They get to play in brand spanking new arena in front of some of the best hockey fans anywhere.

alittlejazzbird
03-13-2007, 03:50 PM
I'm just so relieved....I always believed that Mario wanted to keep the team in Pittsburgh and would do everything in his power to make it happen, even as I've been holding my breath since the whole "impasse" debacle. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and despite their best efforts to screw it up, the political powers that be actually didn't make an irreparable mess of the whole thing. Though he is the last person who would try to claim the glory for himself, Mario Lemieux just might be the real hero of the story.

I've been a Pens fan since Mario was a rookie, and it makes me so happy to say that today is a great day for the team, the fans, and the city!

Man, I wish I could be at the Igloo tonight -- the place will be on FIRE!!!!!!!!!

HometownGal
03-13-2007, 04:03 PM
Of course they're happy. They get to play in brand spanking new arena in front of some of the best hockey fans anywhere.

The players know all too well that Pittsburgh is a great hockey market with fans who love 'em through thick and thin. Anyone who even thought this city was going to allow our Pens to leave without a dogfight needs their heads examined!

Tonight is going to be awesome - can't wait!!!!! :banana:

tony hipchest
03-13-2007, 04:14 PM
well, for all going to the game tonight, i wish i could be there, buy you a brew and enjoy the celebration and atmosphere.

:cheers:

for those going, who have been to the playoffs and stanley cup finals, you will have to let us desert dwellers know how tonight ranks in the'gloo. i gotta think it would be right up there.

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 06:00 PM
No local tax dollars in arena deal, officials say
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today said the deal for a new hockey arena includes no city tax dollars and no payment to the Penguins' former partners, casino company Isle of Capri Inc.

"We do have a deal. We're very excited about the deal, and we worked very hard to ultimately reach the deal," he said today. "It's just so exciting. It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh for the next 30 years."

He withheld details of the deal until a 5 p.m. press conference at the Sen. John Heinz Regional History Center, other than to say that there will be no local taxpayer money involved in the arena's construction. A term sheet will be released at the press conference, he said.

"I can tell you that there's no city dollars in the deal," he said.

Asked whether the public will have to foot the bill for a payment the hockey team owes Isle of Capri, for expenses the casino company incurred while trying to win a license to operate a slots venue that would have financed the arena, he said: "That's not part of this deal, no."

There's no Allegheny County money in the deal, either, said Kevin Evanto, spokesman for County Executive Dan Onorato.

"The county executive has been consistent from the beginning that no Regional Asset District or county dollars would be used to build the arena," Mr. Evanto said. "The deal that's been struck does not use either of those sources."

PNC Park and Heinz Field, he noted, were backed in part by the Regional Asset District 1 percent sales tax add-on.

"We were able to put together a competitive offer that keeps the Penguins here without Regional Asset District money because of gaming," he said.

In all, $15 million a year in funding derived from a coming slots casino will back the new arena.

Mr. Ravenstahl said details about how the deal compares to other arena financing packages will be released at the press conference.

"It's a good deal, it's a fair deal, it's one we had to work hard to negotiate in competition with other cities, which I guess raised the stakes, so to speak," he said. "We stayed committed to ensuring that no local tax dollars went into this deal. If you look at this deal in comparison to Heinz Field and PNC Park, they are significantly different."

He described the process by which a deal was reached, which included some periods of uncertainty.

"We, from the beginning of these discussions, the Jan. 4 meeting specifically, raised I guess the contribution, so to speak, and we worked from there after the Jan. 4 meeting. But it's safe to say that we were very competitive since the very beginning," he said.

"There were definitely times where, while we continued to negotiate in good faith, and continued to feel as we were competitive, there were times when we began to doubt whether or not a deal would be reached here.

"Certainly, the original meeting of Jan. 4, and here we are today on, I think it's March 13, over two months later. If you had asked me then whether or not it would take this long, I would have told you no. So there are always times when we had doubt. And it was never certain until we actually had that agreement that the Penguins would stay here."

A meeting Thursday evening in the Philadelphia area, spurred in part by a letter from the team threatening to move, was a key moment.

"We had very productive discussions last Thursday evening, at which time we were very close, but needed to get everything formally down on paper, and agreed to, and that's what took place between that period in time and today," he said. "It was helpful to have [NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman] there as a mediator, so to speak, between the NHL and us as the government officials. He was very helpful last Thursday.

"We felt very, very optimistic after the meeting on Thursday, and working over the weekend to get the specifics down on paper, it became apparent that we would be able to reach this deal. So probably some time over the weekend we started to feel really, really confident."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07072/769082-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 06:01 PM
well, for all going to the game tonight, i wish i could be there, buy you a brew and enjoy the celebration and atmosphere.

:cheers:

for those going, who have been to the playoffs and stanley cup finals, you will have to let us desert dwellers know how tonight ranks in the'gloo. i gotta think it would be right up there.

The game is on VERSUS tonight. You should be able to watch it.

As for ranking the crowd level tonight compared to playoffs/cup finals. Will do. I have a very strong feeling it will be up there.

SteelCzar76
03-13-2007, 06:03 PM
Congrats to the City and people of Pittsburgh, as well as the Pens !:cheers:
Though i haven't been the greatest follower of Hockey for the most part of my life,.....i couldn't have conceived the thought of the Pens playing anywhere else.
What can i say,.....i'm big on tradition. LOL

SteelCityMan786
03-13-2007, 06:08 PM
This has made my freaking year! Screw you Kansas City! The Pens are ours!

AMEN SISTER!

SteelCityMan786
03-13-2007, 06:13 PM
You aren't kidding SCM. This is such a huge relief. This is great for Pittsburgh!

NO DOUBT. I'm one happy man today like every other Penguins fan across The globe.

For 30 More Years During Hockey Season

In the words of the great Mike Lange

IT'S A HOCKEY NIGHT IN PITTSBURGH!

83-Steelers-43
03-13-2007, 06:19 PM
Jubilant Penguins, public officials detail arena pact
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins owners and public officials today jubilantly discussed the details of their long-sought agreement for a new arena in Pittsburgh.

At a news conference at the Sen. John Heinz Regional History Center in the Strip District, Gov. Ed Rendell made the formal announcement of the 30-year agreement. He noted that he and local officials had come up with a Plan B for funding in case the Penguins' partner, Isle of Capri, did not win a casino license for Pittsburgh. Isle of Capri had pledged to build an arena for the team.

Mr. Rendell said Plan B had been changed because of competition from Kansas City, which has a nearly finished arena and was wooing the Penguins.

The team will no longer have to pay $8.5 million up front. Instead, the state will pay $10.5 million from public development funds.

In addition, the team will only have to commit $2.2 million of its own in annual lease payments, a reduction, but will have to make up the difference by seeking $2 million in naming rights, an increase.

Sources last night told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that an agreement had been reached over the weekend following a "very productive" meeting Thursday that broke an impasse in the talks. National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman had sat in on those talks in Philadelphia.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, without providing details, said the deal would require no local tax dollars. And Mr. Rendell credited the state's new slots casinos for providing much of the needed funding.

The winning Pittsburgh slots license bidder will contribute $7.5 million a year from his revenues, and the state will kick in another $7.5 million a year from its share of the pot.

The arena could be ready for the Penguins by October 2009, and the deal is designed to keep the team in Pittsburgh for 30 years. The current lease for the Mellon Arena expires in June.

Team owners had visited Kansas City, which has a new arena but no hockey team, and Las Vegas, which has neither. But officials had said from the beginning that their preference was to stay in Pittsburgh, where there is an established fan base.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07072/769118-61.stm

Jeremy
03-13-2007, 06:33 PM
Once again, please allow me to quote those great lyrical poets Blur when I say



WOO HOO

Prosdo
03-13-2007, 06:43 PM
This has made my freaking year! Screw you Kansas City! The Pens are ours!

SteelCityMan786
03-13-2007, 06:45 PM
GOOD RIDDANCE KC! NOW GO FIND SOME OTHER TEAM! THE PENGUINS ARE AS GOOD AS PITTSBURGH'S!

Man it feels good to be a Penguins fan.

Prosdo
03-13-2007, 06:47 PM
You aren't kidding SCM. This is such a huge relief. This is great for Pittsburgh!

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 12:43 AM
Major components of the arena deal

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Major components of the arena deal:

- $7.5 million a year for 30 years from Pittsburgh casino winner Don Barden.

- $7.5 million a year for 30 years from gambling-financed state economic development - fund.

- $4.2 million a year, including $2 million annually in naming rights, from the Penguins. Also included in the $4.2 million team share is $400,000 a year from a parking surcharge once the new arena is opened and $200,000 a year from parking once Mellon Arena is demolished.

- The city-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority will pay the Penguins $8.5 million for the team-owned old St. Francis Central Hospital.

- $10.5 million from the state, including $8.5 million toward construction and $2 million for marketing.

- $15 million credit to the Penguins as part of an agreement on development rights to 28 acres of the Mellon Arena property. The Penguins must develop 2.8 acres a year or lose the rights.

- Construction cost estimated at $290 million. If the guaranteed maximum price for the arena ends up between $290 million and $310 million, the Penguins and the state will split the cost. Penguins will cover any cost overruns beyond the guaranteed maximum price.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769277-61.stm

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 12:45 AM
Despite low profile, Burkle's role pivotal

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

While Mario Lemieux and state and local leaders who negotiated the deal on the new arena took center stage yesterday, one of the biggest players in the talks, Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle, stayed in the shadows.

Mr. Lemieux, Gov. Ed Rendell, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman all took seats on a stage at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center for yesterday's announcement.

Mr. Burkle, a California billionaire who gave Mr. Lemieux the last $20 million he needed to buy the team in 1999, remained out of the limelight, as is his custom.

There's little doubt, though, that Mr. Burkle played a pivotal role in negotiating the agreement that will keep the team in Pittsburgh -- even as Kansas City offered a deal that the governor described as "great" to Pittsburgh's "very good."

In a brief interview afterwards, Mr. Burkle, like Mr. Lemieux, said his goal was to keep the team in Pittsburgh, even with more lucrative offers available elsewhere.

"It's a joint effort by everybody on the team. It wasn't just any one person. Everybody wanted to see the team stay here," he said.

Mr. Burkle helped to close one last gap in financing for a new arena during a make-or-break negotiating session in New Jersey Thursday by pushing state and local leaders to take advantage of falling interest rates.

The suggestion proved on target, allowing the two sides to move a step closer to a deal.

For much of his time with the Penguins, Mr. Burkle has remained in the background, but took a more active role in the talks over a new arena.

Mr. Lemieux said yesterday that he and Mr. Burkle plan to stay as owners for the time being, despite speculation that the team might go up for sale once an arena deal was in place.

With those talks complete, Mr. Burkle said he has no intention of assuming a higher profile.

"I'm in jeans. I'm going to fade away right now," he joked with reporters as he walked away.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769269-61.stm

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 12:48 AM
Penguins have had designs on new arena for a number of weeks

Team has been working quietly with architect involved with building PNC Park and Heinz Field

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
By Robert Dvorchak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

While the Penguins declared publicly that they were aggressively pursuing all options in other cities for a new arena, they were working behind the scenes with HOK Sports Inc. for the past six weeks on moving ahead with the design of the one that will be built here.

"Quietly, I might add," said team president Ken Sawyer.

The Penguins have not yet officially retained HOK, the nationally renowned firm that was the architect for PNC Park and Heinz Field, but they have been working with HOK for the past 61/2 years while arena talks were ongoing.

In 2001, HOK did an $80,000 study, paid for by the team, which determined that it would be more feasible to build a new building than to refurbish Mellon Arena. It is unclear what the time frame will be for selecting a project architect, but the Penguins want to begin work as quickly as possible.

There are artist renderings of what the new arena will look like from the outside. And after years of labor pains in acquiring funding, everyone wants to know what the baby will look like inside and outside.

What is known is that an 18,000-seat arena will be built slightly to the south of Mellon Arena in a footprint bordered by Centre Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Washington Place. Epiphany Church, one of several historic buildings in the grid, would not be affected but other buildings could be.

The new arena will have two entrances to a common concourse, and there will be improved sight lines for ticket-holders, more open spaces and open views that will allow fans to keep in touch with the action if they leave their seats to visit concession stands.

Meanwhile, the 28-acre site around Mellon Arena is planned for urban development.

Under the term sheet signed yesterday, the Penguins will receive a $15 million incentive from the city and county to develop the site over the next 10 years.

In the past several years, plans have been discussed about revitalizing the Fifth Avenue corridor to create shops and office buildings.

Development would also reconnect the Hill District to Downtown, and city and county officials will speak with neighborhood leaders this morning about their input on celebrating and recapturing the culture of the neighborhood.

"What we're talking about here is actually rebuilding a part of the city," said Don Carter, president of Urban Design Associates, which has been working with the Penguins.

"It's an opportunity to rebuild a piece of the city that kind of went away."

Mr. Carter has called the 28 acres one of the greatest development sites in the United States because it is near public transportation and adjacent to Downtown.

Some proposals for the site include rental housing, single-family homes, shops, a hotel, restaurants, parking garages and one or two city parks.

County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said development would be based on work being done between PNC Park and Heinz Field because planners learned their lessons from Three Rivers Stadium, where development never occurred.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769281-61.stm

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 12:54 AM
Penguins town: A hard-bargained deal is a winner for Pittsburgh

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

All things considered, it took less time and anguish to wrap up the Plan B for a new Pittsburgh arena than the Plan B that built two stadiums and a convention center.

Chalk it up to the negotiating parties, both public and private, who knew that walking away from this would leave both sides diminished and that all the elements of a deal were present if only cooler heads could work out the details.

In the end, thank goodness, they did. Now Pittsburgh is the winner, with a new $290 million public arena on the way and the preservation of a popular sports franchise. The Penguins win, too, with a 30-year pact on a new facility that will support their bottom line and the retention of a passionate fan base in their city of origin.

Credit goes to Gov. Ed Rendell, who led the delegation of public officials in crafting the deal. He said yesterday that, were it not for the legalization of slots casinos in Pennsylvania, the Penguins would have left Pittsburgh. He's probably right, because it's hard to see where $15 million a year in public funds would have been found to help build the facility. The governor's hatching of Plan B, a fallback funding formula, assured that, regardless of who won the Pittsburgh casino license, gambling proceeds would cover the bulk of construction. As it stands, casino operator Don Barden will contribute $7.5 million a year toward building the arena, matched by $7.5 million from a gambling-generated development fund.

Mr. Rendell's partners in the talks were Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who may not have brought funding to the table but maintained a unified front with the governor in representing the public interest and keeping pressure on for an agreement.

Credit also goes to Penguins' co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle and National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, who bargained hard for their business but also had the sense to see what a good deal they had in Pittsburgh -- in fans, in funds and in overall community allegiance. The team will pay $2.2 million a year toward construction, along with additional money from naming rights.

One doesn't have to follow hockey or the Penguins to see the value for Pittsburgh in the arena compact. Besides saving a sports franchise and its associated spinoffs, the deal will replace an aging and costly entertainment venue without burdening local taxpayers. Since the new arena will sit along Fifth Avenue, the deal will open for development, with incentives, a prime piece of real estate between Downtown and the Hill District.

This is the kind of deal that will make winners all around. Good work by those who refused to stop talking till the job was done.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769167-192.stm

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 12:56 AM
Penguin envy

I was going to win even if the Pens had relocated, but they truly belong perched on the Hill

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
By Thomas W. Butch

KANSAS CITY - The city sits on a bluff astride a famous river. Its people are among the friendliest in the United States. As sports fans, they live and die with every down their NFL team plays, and they support their baseball team, even though experience tells them it is an exercise largely without hope.

At first visit, outsiders' misperceptions of the city, borne of aged but lingering reputations, are quickly vaporized. They marvel at its vibrancy, its downtown renaissance, its natural beauty. It is, they realize quickly, a special place with a high quality of life.

Welcome to Kansas City.

The Penguins' recent flirtation with my adopted city brought inevitable barb-trading between residents of the Steel City and Cowtown. As a lifelong Penguins fan who spent most of my life in the former and the past seven here, I felt the emotional pull of both possible outcomes. I couldn't imagine Pittsburgh without the Pens, but surely would have been waiting outside the Sprint Center to be among the first to secure season tickets if they had decided to come here.

I first had Penguins season tickets in 1972 -- Section D25, right beside Bob Woytowich's Polish Army in D24. The total cost for the 20-game plan was $30 -- $3 per game with a 50 percent student discount. I am guessing that I have attended 350-ish Pens games in my life, even managing now to get to a few each year.

My Pens legacy stretches from Ken Schinkel to Pierre Larouche to Mario Lemieux to Sidney Crosby; from Les Binkley to Marc Andre Fleury; from Eddie Shack to Evgeni Malkin; from Bugsy Watson to Dave Burrows to Steve Durbano to Ron Stackhouse to Paul Coffey to Sergei Gonchar. I remember Ace Marcus, Harry, the PAP line, the heartbreaking OT loss to the Islanders and the gutty, ear-splitting 1992 comeback playoff victory over the Rangers in Game 4 after Mario's wrist was broken in the previous game -- probably the most thrilling professional sporting event of my lifetime (and I was at the Immaculate Reception game). And of course the Cups and much, much more.

The thought of all of these memories -- and a Pens team now likely to be potent for a decade -- coming to my doorstep in KC was enticing indeed. Nonetheless, I ultimately concluded that the Pens belonged in Pittsburgh.

This was less magnanimous than it was genetic. As any Pittsburgh expatriate would tell you, our sports allegiances are encoded in our DNA. Even the thought of driving eight miles to the Sprint Center -- versus flying 925 -- to see the Penguins in action was not sufficient to sway my belief that they belonged perched on the Hill atop Pittsburgh.

Now that that outcome is secured, I would only tell you that Kansas City would have been the best possible adoptive home for the Pens. In fact, it is strikingly similar to the 'burgh. It is no more a backward cow town than Pittsburgh is a polluted post-industrial waste site. Just change the occasional "yinz" to an occasional "y'all," substitute KC's world-class BBQ for Pittsburgh's world-class Italian, and modify your inbred disdain for Philadelphia to a similar rivalry with St. Louis, and you would sometimes swear you are in the same place.

So, Pittsburgh, love your hockey team and support them for the civic treasure they are. Love them even when there is not someone on the ice with the name "Lemieux" or "Crosby" stitched on their sweater. Wish KC a hockey team in the future and come to a Pens game here. You will be glad you did.

And look for my car in the parking lot in the successor to the Mellon Arena. It will be the one with the Steelers plate on the front, and the Kansas plate, with the Penguins frame, on the back.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769130-109.stm

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 12:58 AM
Bob Smizik: Mario, Penguins staying together

It appears that Mario, Penguins will stay together, live happily ever after

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The avalanche of good fortune that has rained down on the Penguins in the past 20 months continues with no end in sight.

It all began in July 2005 when the NHL and its players union settled on a collective bargaining agreement that included a salary cap. Gone were the days when the Penguins would have to sell off their high-priced stars.

It only got better -- much better -- the next day with a monstrous stroke of good luck that came with winning the draft lottery. By obtaining the first pick in the draft, the Penguins got Sidney Crosby, who soon would become the best player the NHL and who will be for years to come.

This winter, the good times continued as the Crosby-led team jelled into a winner well before expected and the club is in excellent position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Better still, late on Monday came word that an agreement had been reached on building a $290 million arena that will keep the franchise in town for 30 more years.

Finally, as the news conference announcing the arena deal wound to a close late yesterday afternoon, there came word that proved yet again the gods were smiling down on this once-beleaguered franchise.

As if the team was not moving solidly in the right direction, it was revealed that a deep-pocketed ownership group, which includes a hockey legend pretty well known in these parts, was ready to guide the team for the foreseeable future.

It was widely believed that Mario Lemieux wanted to sell the Penguins, cash in on the equity he used to purchase the team and retire to a life of golf, good times and watching his four children grow up. By some estimates, Lemieux's stake in the team was valued at close to $50 million. Surely, he would take it and run. He had never given any indication he would do otherwise.

Turns out, the aggravation of owning a hockey team isn't quite what it used to be with Crosby and his young and talented teammates on the ice and a new arena is in the offing.

Lemieux will stay on, as will all his partners, which include Ron Burkle, who is believed to own the largest share of the team and whose net worth is about $2.5 billion.

Burkle could have bought out Lemieux pretty much with what he keeps in his petty cash drawer, and probably would have done so if asked. The question never was posed.

"We went through a lot the last few years," Lemieux said by way of explaining his decision to keep his stake in the team. "We see the team is turning around and we want to be part of it. Ron wants to be part of it. The ownership group wants to be part of it. I like to be a part of it. The future is very bright here in Pittsburgh.

"Now that we have solidified the new arena, I think we'll be in a position to be competitive with the rest of the NHL and able to afford to keep our stars and be able to spend up to the cap or near the cap."

With Burkle committed to the group, spending up to the top of the salary cap would not figure to be a problem.

Burkle, who rarely makes a public appearance, was at the news conference but chose not to sit at the podium with Lemieux, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Gov. Ed Rendell, County Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Surprisingly and despite being ill at ease, he stuck around for a few questions after the news conference broke up.

Asked if he'd be willing to up his stake in the team, Burkle said, "We'll see about that."

There's a certain cachet about owning a sports team, especially a successful one, that makes extremely wealthy men do unusual things. This isn't to suggest Burkle is one of those owner/egomaniacs because, clearly, he's not. But who wouldn't like to own a team with Mario Lemieux as a partner and with Sidney Crosby as its linchpin?

Bettman wasn't surprised about Lemieux's decision to remain an owner.

He said, "I think in the deal business there is a term that people sometimes use called 'deal fatigue.' I think based on the expectations that Mario had when he took the team out of bankruptcy [in 1999], I think the whole process was wearing on him.

"But now ... he and Ron Burkle want to enjoy the fact this is a franchise that has a very exciting future, both with the team on the ice and the prospect of this great arena."

Truth be told, the Lemieux-Burkle ownership group has been far from perfect in the first seven years of its run. Lemieux, perhaps out of loyalty to the man who assembled two Stanley Cup champions, allowed former general manager Craig Patrick to stay way too long.

But with a new management team in place, led by Ray Shero, the team is sprinting forward. Lemieux and Burkle will remain in the background, rocks, for different reasons, to support the franchise.

The good times should continue and, in due time, could bring that third Stanley Cup.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769270-194.stm

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 01:01 AM
A timeline on the new arena deal

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In the nearly eight years since Mario Lemieux bought the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team has been through a handful of proposals and many starts and stops in its efforts to finance a replacement for Mellon Arena. Here are some of the notable events that occurred along the way to yesterday's announcement that a deal has been reached:

Oct. 13, 1998 -- Penguins owner Roger Marino files for bankruptcy protection with U.S. District Court. The deal includes a clause that says elected officials will "endeavor to complete a financing and development plan" for a new arena by June 30, 2002.

Sept. 3, 1999 -- Bankruptcy Court approves sale to a group headed by former Penguins star Mario Lemieux after months of contentious negotiations.

Nov. 21, 2000 -- Penguins buy the former St. Francis Central Hospital for $8 million as a possible site for a new arena.

March 11, 2002 -- Penguins propose a $500 million office, housing and retail development adjacent to proposed new arena.

July 31, 2002 -- Sports & Exhibition Authority unveils a $270 million plan to build a new arena by the fall of 2006, but elected officials react coolly because they say they don't have money to contribute to the project.

Oct. 3, 2003 -- Penguins put hospital property up for sale because of the lack of progress toward a new arena and the property is too expensive to maintain.

March 24, 2004 -- Los Angeles-based Sports Finance & Management Group proposes privately funded arena, but Penguins are cool to the idea because they want to control the facility.

Dec. 10, 2005 -- Citing lack of progress on talks for a new arena, Lemieux says there's a "slim chance" the Penguins would remain in Pittsburgh after the team's lease expires in June 2007.

Dec. 21, 2005 -- Penguins announce they have an agreement with casino operator Isle of Capri Inc. to operate a slots casino next to a new arena, which Isle of Capri agreed to pay for at a cost of $270 million.

Jan. 18, 2006 -- Mr. Lemieux announces the team is for sale.

March 30, 2006 -- Gov. Ed Rendell announces an alternate plan to finance a new arena if the Penguins and Isle of Capri don't win the Pittsburgh slots license, but the Penguins say the casino plan would be better and, because of the team's contract with Isle of Capri, it can't even talk about any alternative.

Oct. 5, 2006 -- Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie reaches agreement to buy the Penguins for $175 million and says a new arena is key to their future success.

Dec. 15, 2006 -- Mr. Balsillie drops his bid to buy the Penguins after the National Hockey League says the team would be required to stay in Pittsburgh.

Dec. 20, 2006 -- State awards slots license to Detroit businessman Don Barden, who agrees to pay $7.5 million a year to help finance a new arena.

Dec. 22, 2006 -- Mr. Lemieux announces the team is no longer for sale, but he will entertain offers to move to another city.

Jan. 4, 2007 -- After a meeting with city, county and state officials, Penguins say they are optimistic a deal for a new arena can be done quickly.

March 5, 2007 -- Frustrated by a lack of progress in arena talks, the Penguins declare an impasse and say they will actively shop the team to other cities.

March 8, 2007 -- Following a hastily arranged meeting near Philadelphia, public officials and the Penguins say they have made "substantial progress" on an arena deal.

March 13, 2007 -- Penguins and public officials announce they have reached an agreement to build an arena for $290 million that's scheduled to open in October 2009.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769284-61.stm

Edman
03-14-2007, 01:03 AM
For some laughs, Kansas Bitchy fans crying "foul". Reminiscant of Seattle Fans after Super Bowl XL.:sofunny:

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?S=115#S=115&F=2575&T=247257

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 01:06 AM
Oh for God's sake, quit whining people! We're still more than likely going to get property tax relief from the money we get from the slots parlor here. Do they actually think every single dime the city, county and state makes is going toward the arena? What about all of the money that the new arena itself is going to bring in? Dunderheads! :dang:

Without slots, team 'would have been gone'

By Andrew Conte
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle rolled the dice and came up big.

When the Penguins owners needed cash for a new arena, they gambled that Pennsylvania's slots industry could provide the money that political leaders hadn't delivered.

Without slots, insiders said Tuesday, the team would be playing in another market by fall.

"Without a doubt, they would have been gone," said the Rev. Jim Simms, who headed up Pittsburgh First, the team's partnership with gambling company Isle of Capri Casinos. "When the gaming legislation was introduced, we saw that as being the answer."

Isle of Capri would have paid $290 million for an arena if it had won Pittsburgh's casino license, and Pittsburgh First would have steered redevelopment of the Lower Hill District. Instead, Detroit businessman Don Barden won the slots license for a planned North Shore casino. He has agreed to pay $7.5 million a year, for 30 years, toward an arena from the casino profits.

The arena deal calls for the state to pay $7.5 million a year from a development fund backed by slots money. The Penguins would pay $3.8 million a year, and $400,000 a year for improvements to the arena.

"If they had to go to a referendum or direct tax funds, I'm saying, no," said Jerry Shuster, a political communications professor at the University of Pittsburgh. "There would be no other funding source close to being able to (make up) that kind of shortfall."

The Pittsburgh slots parlor is stalled by appeals filed in the state Supreme Court by Isle of Capri and the other losing bidder, Forest City Enterprises.

Barden could not be reached yesterday for comment. His spokesman, Bob Oltmanns, said Barden hadn't been involved in the arena talks since attending a meeting with Burkle and public officials in January.

Barden's Majestic Star Casino has some rights to develop the Mellon Arena site after the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority builds a new Uptown arena, Oltmanns said. The sports authority will own the arena, and the Penguins will lease it.

"Under the terms of the governor's plan and the (sports authority's) property, we're just a funder," Oltmanns said. "We're really not a partner in this, other than we have some development rights in the site."

Because the deal relies on slots money, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl are able to tell taxpayers that no local tax money is being contributed.

"We stayed committed to making sure that no local tax dollars went into this deal," Ravenstahl said yesterday. "You look at this deal in comparison to Heinz Field and PNC Park, they're significantly different."

That gives Onorato and Ravenstahl political cover during their re-election campaigns, said Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, a Castle Shannon think tank.

"Certainly the availability of slots money and Barden's $7.5 million make it more financially palatable," Haulk said. "They're arguing there's no local tax money. In the strictest sense, that's true."

But the gambling money committed to an arena project could be used to help lower property taxes, said Joseph Sabino Mistick, a Duquesne University law professor.

"The money intended for tax relief, that is now going to an arena and other things, really is public money," Mistick said. "It was supposed to help people in hard times meet their real estate tax obligations. More spent elsewhere means they're less able to do those kinds of things."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_497558.html

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 01:09 AM
Terrific article here - and very true. Without Sid, there's no new building and the Pens would be gone. BTW - those attendance figures mentioned for the 3 seasons prior to the lockout were mostly due to the fans being upset at the lack of direction by the organization and basically giving our stars away for nothing. I believe the fans would have still come out if there was a serious rebuilding effort going on at the time. One has to look no further than last season for evidence of that - leading the league in increased attendance despite finishing with the second worst record in the league.

New arena will be 'The House That Sid Built'

By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's nice to be nice to the nice.

That's a Frank Burns line from M*A*S*H, and it fairly describes the Tuesday afternoon news conference announcing the Penguins' arena deal. Everybody thanked everybody then thanked everybody again, for good measure.

Thank you.

No, thank you.

Too bad nobody thanked the person most responsible for the fact the Penguins won't be playing in Kansas City next season and are, in fact, bound to Pittsburgh for the next 30 years.

That would be 19-year-old center Sidney Crosby.

Everything changed July 22, 2005, when the Penguins beat ridiculous odds -- they had a 6.25-percent chance of that ping-pong ball bouncing their way -- and won the draft lottery, remember?

Ticket-office phones lit up like a pinball machine. A deal to sell the team to San Jose, Calif., venture capitalist William "Boots" Del Biaggio III suddenly fell apart, presumably because Crosby's pending arrival pumped the value of the team clear through Mellon Arena's steel roof.

Crosby made the Penguins relevant again.

Crosby brought the fans back -- to the arena and to their televisions.

Mario Lemieux, Gov. Ed Rendell, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Allegheny County chief executive Dan Onorato all made it a point to thank those fans yesterday during the news conference at the Heinz History Center.

The irate e-mail and phone calls were wonderful, Onorato said, but the real statement fans made was packing Mellon Arena -- as they did last night, when they gave Lemieux an ear-splitting ovation before the national anthem.

But, would the place be packed if Crosby hadn't come along?

Or would the Penguins be scraping the bottom of the league in attendance, as they were in 2001-02 (22nd overall), 2002-03 (25th) and 2003-04 (30th and dead last)?

Funny, but you didn't hear many people talking about Pittsburgh as a prime NHL market during those years, particularly in 2003-04, when the team played to 70 percent capacity, averaging just 11,877 fans per game.

It's more likely folks were wondering if Pittsburgh was a viable hockey market at all without Lemieux's presence as a player.

If you're scoring the new arena deal, give the goal to Crosby, with plenty of assists:

• Isle of Capri's partnership with the Penguins did not land the slots license but forced Plan 'B' and led to legislation mandating that the winning the slots applicant kick in $7.5 million a year toward an arena.

• Bettman used the lockout year to create an economic and competitive climate in which stars such as Crosby and mid- to small-market teams such as the Penguins could succeed. He also blocked the sale of the club to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, reportedly because Balsillie had designs upon moving the franchise, and presided over the key meeting in arena negotiations this past Thursday in Cherry Hill, N.J.

"His work was essential," Rendell said.

• Lemieux, of course, forgave $5 million of the Penguins' debt to him and formed a group to buy the club out of bankruptcy eight years ago, when it might have been disbanded.

• Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle provided the financial backbone for Lemieux's group and was the team's chief negotiator in the arena deal.

The other major development yesterday was Lemieux's proclamation that the team won't be for sale again anytime soon.

Burkle, the mysterious Beverly Hills supermarket magnate, didn't exactly elaborate. Asked if he would take a higher profile with the team, Burkle said, oddly, "I'm in jeans. I'm going to fade away right now."

Truth is, Burkle has taken a more active role behind the scenes, even to the point of interacting with players. Not that he is ever going to be Mark Cuban, which is probably a good thing.

"The biggest thing I noticed is how he's asked guys about how we felt about certain things," Crosby said. "It means a lot to us. He really showed a lot of caring about the team. You know, if he didn't think it was a good idea to be here ... "

... the Penguins would be well on their way to Kansas City.

As for the politicians, well, there's been a long line of them involved in a process that began eight years ago. Their lollygagging drove up the arena cost by millions of dollars, but Rendell, in particular, ultimately did what needed to be done.

Thanks, guys.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_497596.html

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 01:11 AM
Pens players happy to be staying

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Penguins players could have cashed their paychecks just as easily in Kansas City or Las Vegas as they can in Pittsburgh.

With the exception of Ryan Malone, none of the players is from Pittsburgh, and only Mark Recchi makes his offseason home in the area.

Still, the players also know how much support they get from the fans, and Tuesday's announcement that the Penguins were getting a new arena brought relief and excitement to the dressing room.

"On other teams guys might not have cared," said forward Sidney Crosby, 19, who hails from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. "But I think here, everyone wanted to be here. I think we're all really happy, and we owe a lot of thanks for the support that we've gotten here."

Defenseman Rob Scuderi, who's from Syosset, N.Y., said you can't really ask for much more than the team has in Pittsburgh.

"(Pittsburgh's) a great place to be," Scuderi said. "The community supports the team, and it's a great sports town. It would be a shame to leave with all the support we've gotten both this year and last year."

Yesterday's game at Mellon Arena against the Buffalo Sabres was another sellout, the Penguins' 24th in 35 home games this season. They are averaging 16,279 fans per game (96 percent capacity).

"Guys have played on other teams and then come here, and they love the fans. That's the biggest thing," Malone said. "Even last year when we were losing we still had crowds. The fans just really love it when you work hard, and the guys really appreciate that."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_497597.html

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 01:17 AM
Hmmm...well, it's more than likely going to be called Bank of New York Arena, but anything can happen between now and then. The Pens will say 'yes' to anyone who offers them $2 million a year.

Facility's 1st contest may be name game

By Kim Leonard
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Don't be surprised if the Penguins' new home takes on a familiar name.

Mellon Financial Corp. has "the first right of refusal for the naming rights to any new facility," spokesman Ron Gruendl said Tuesday.

The company's 10-year deal to put its name on Mellon Arena runs through the 2008-09 hockey season.

Mellon has a deal to merge with The Bank of New York. Once that deal is completed, Gruendl said, "we will consider what we believe to be appropriate marketing opportunities" for the new global company.

There are other potential candidates to pay for naming rights.

Citizens Bank already has Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, but "we will consider and evaluate any naming-rights opportunity," spokeswoman Sylvia Bronner said.

National City Bank also will evaluate the opportunity, spokesman Bill Eiler said.

Banks, airlines, insurance companies, cell phone and other technology companies are the most likely partners. Naming-rights deals can bridge the gap between an arena's anticipated and actual price tag, experts say.

"And that will be important in Pittsburgh," said Ronald Dick, an assistant professor in sports marketing at Duquesne University.

Rich Products signed the first true naming-rights deal, in 1972 for a Buffalo Bills stadium. Today, 77 such agreements in North America are valued at a total of more than $4.1 billion, Dick said.

Mellon said it doesn't disclose details of its agreement for Mellon Arena, although ESPN sets the cost at about $1.8 million a year.

Businesses typically have naming rights for a sports complex in their headquarters city, but not always. Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. has its name on a Denver soccer complex. The Findlay-based retailer couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.

H.J. Heinz Co., which pays about $2.9 million a year for its Heinz Field deal, declined comment. PNC Financial Corp pays about $2 million annually through 2020 to afix its name on PNC Park, home of the Pirates.

Some companies indicated no interest -- for now. They include US Airways, 84 Lumber Co. and Giant Eagle Corp.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_497571.html

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 02:27 AM
Fans' love affair extended 30 years

In Penguins' lore, yesterday ranks right up near the top

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On yet another great day for hockey in Pittsburgh -- in the Top Five on a list with both Stanley Cups, the franchise's inception and a certain owner's birth -- yesterday was one to celebrate.

It was a day to construct an aluminum-foil Stanley Cup and tote it into town from Ohio.

It was a day to don the old Steve Durbano blue-and-white sweater and herd into the Igloo.

It was a day for longtime fans, future followers, scalpers, businesses, an entire region to share.

Yesterday's announcement resonated like a victory, like a playoff atmosphere, hours before the Penguins took the Mellon Arena ice for a 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in front of the requisite standing-room-only 17,132 fans.

It was all because the club's owners and politicians from the city, county and state announced yesterday afternoon that they had reached an agreement, months in the making, guaranteeing that the NHL team formerly known as the Flightless Waterfowl won't waddle away from their Pittsburgh home for the next 30 years, minimum.

Yet a new arena by 2009-10 means more than a place to play 40 regular season games and serve as host to just as many other events. A new arena means more than Mario Lemieux securing his legacy with an unprecedented hat trick: He has saved the franchise thrice.

Rather, such a building represents a new foundation.

He wasn't foiled again

Kevin Gnipp came from Poland just for this -- Ohio, that is. His family moved there from its Troy Hill and McKees Rocks roots a generation ago. But when news arrived this morning that an arena deal at long last was struck, he pulled out the tin foil and went to work.

He fashioned a Cup somewhat resembling the one the Penguins won in 1991 and 1992, and he headed for town. He was skating his Cup down the Centre Avenue sidewalk outside the arena about 90 minutes before game time, hoping to score a ticket to the game.

"I had to make a special trip in," said Mr. Gnipp, a graduate student at Youngstown State University. "A big day."

He attends about five Penguins games a year, he added, and never wavered in his belief that the club born in 1967 would stay true to the only home it ever knew -- that was until March 5, when the Penguins sent out a letter describing their arena talks as at an impasse and re-opened the potential path to Kansas City, Las Vegas and puck ports elsewhere.

"I was depressed for one whole day," he said.

Before skating away merrily yesterday, he suggested a name for the new digs: Mario Lemieux Arena.

"If I was a billionaire," he said, "I'd pay the naming rights, for sure."

All dressed up

They toddled toward the middle-aged arena, a march of the Penguins fans, folks wearing their sweaters bearing the numbers of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and others. And that was mostly the Shipley family of Carrick.

Mother Lisa, a fan since the early 1990s, gets to about 10 games a season while husband, Don, and 21/2-year-old son, Lorenzo, only get to about a half-dozen.

"It's a night out," Mom said with a grin.

"I've been a fan, pshew, forever," she added. "Before last year [and Crosby's arrival], there didn't seem to be much support for the Penguins. The end of last year, they started selling out."

This year, it picked up anew -- last night was the 17th sellout in the past 19 games -- and this fervor didn't go unnoticed by the politicians engaging current Penguins management in what former owner Howard Baldwin once termed "the mating dance of negotiations." They credited fans for the arena accord.

"They have no one to thank but themselves," Gov. Ed Rendell said at the late-afternoon news conference announcing the deal.

Added county Chief Executive Dan Onorato: "Packing that arena night after night after night is what gave us the leverage to save Pittsburgh as a hockey town."

And Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who received polite applause from a smattering of fans as he entered Gate 2 before the game, said he received 1,500 e-mails overnight after the club made the "impasse" announcement.

Such lingering concern was why a bunch of starving college students paid scalpers' prices to witness the game that heralded a new beginning for the Penguins. Alexis Dick drove in from Amherst, Ohio, near Cedar Point, to join Edinboro University pals Courtney Mahronich of Pittsburgh and Natalie Hopkins of Irwin, plus Slippery Rock University friend Eric Fichter of North Hills.

They arrived at the arena at 5 a.m. in hopes of landing Student Rush tickets -- there were none available. So they spent $240 on four seats -- scalpers, Ms. Mahronich mused, "are having a field day." That wasn't as bad as two other Slippery Rock students, Corey Stowitzky of Waynesburg and Tyler Saklad of Pine, who spent $150 for a pair -- their scalper courteously allowed them to hit up an ATM first.

"I thought it was going to be the last season," said Mr. Saklad.

At the adult end of the ticket-buying spectrum, from Little Lorenzo Shipley to the college kids to middle age and beyond, there in a Gate 1 line stood the Durbano-clad Jack Carroll of Upper St. Clair and son, Alex, a University of South Carolina student in a Fleury jersey.

Mr. Carroll has been a Penguins season ticket holder off and on since 1970, he said. That put him in an elite membership among "those of us who have been here when it wasn't sold out, when you used to have Paranoid Night -- everybody had their own section."

"Well, I remember back in the mid-'70s that was scary, with the bankruptcy and padlocking the doors," Mr. Carroll continued. "The bankruptcy [in 1997]. And this."

Giving them the business

The Steelhead bar in the City Center Marriott across Centre Avenue had the arena news conference on its television screens, filled tables and chairs, and smiles across employees' faces. After all, when the lockout rendered the arena hockey dark in 2004-05 and Downtown missed 40 such business nights, estimates put the area's economic loss at $48 million.

"Our city was in the same situation two years ago" before landing a new Sabres owner, said Amanda Magrum of Lancaster, N.Y., sitting in the bar with fellow Sabres fans, her sister Emily and friend Crissy Paulos, 21, of Buffalo, N.Y. "Good for Pittsburgh."

Down Centre and around the corner, The Carlton owner and Pennsylvania Restaurants Association Chairman Kevin Joyce was talking about far more than his sold-out restaurant. A new arena, he said, "is not just about the people of the region; it's also about the business and the taxes it creates."

Appreciative players

For the Penguins players, it was a good news day on all fronts.

"Throughout this whole thing, a lot of guys realized -- or I hope they have -- that as players we want to be here," Mr. Crosby said. "Other teams, that might not have been the case. ... We owe a lot of thanks for the support we've gotten here."

"All the guys here don't want to leave," added winger Ryan Malone, raised in Upper St. Clair. "It's a little peace of mind, a little security. But the big winners are the fans and the city of Pittsburgh. Hopefully, in a couple of years, we're going to have a great place to play."

Giving thanks

With the scoreboard clock ticking down the final four minutes before game time, a darkened figure walked onto the ice through the Zamboni entrance. The crowd recognized the lithe shape from the get-go, before the spotlight found him, and the old Igloo swelled with applause as if it was a playoff night.

"Well, I have an announcement to make," Mr. Lemieux said over the public address system, then was greeted by more applause.

"Tonight, I'm proud to announce that your Pittsburgh Penguins will remain right here in Pittsburgh, where they belong.

"Thank you, Pittsburgh. Have a great night."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769267-61.stm

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 07:06 AM
For some laughs, Kansas Bitchy fans crying "foul". Reminiscant of Seattle Fans after Super Bowl XL.:sofunny:

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?S=115#S=115&F=2575&T=247257


:toofunny: :toofunny: :toofunny:

Oh man, thanks for posting that! Absolutely friggin hilarious! And of course, this assclown doesn't want to divulge his "source" that told him about all of the conspiracy behind the Pens getting a new deal. Hey bonehead - if Mario really wanted to move to your piece of crap cow town, all he had to do was drag out the negotiations to this summer when their lease expires, and at that point, there wouldn't have been a damn thing the league could do to stop them from moving. But Bonehead the Barbarian here never even considered that, did he? Not only that, if there was even the slightest inkling that Mario and Burkle didn't really want to stay here, wouldn't have someone - ANYONE - in the media reported it? Would have been a nice way for the the government to get the people on their side, right? Because you know Fat Eddie would have jumped all over it if it were so, since the people were solidly behind Mario and cursing him for the deal not being completed. Moron. Two words for ya, jackass...

SUCK IT!

83-Steelers-43
03-14-2007, 10:18 AM
Normally I can't stand ESPN when they talk hockey, but this is a pretty good article dealing with not only the fans in Pittsburgh, but with fans all around the league and how this deal effects them also.

It was also nice to see somebody give Bettman props for helping this deal along. While Lemieux and the officials are getting all the praise, I believe Bettman's presence should not be underestimated. Thanks for the salary cap in the NHL and helping this deal along Mr. Bettman.

Fans spared sight of Penguins skating off to KCBy Scott Burnside
ESPN.com
Archive

And so Pittsburgh fans will be spared the sight of Sidney Crosby sporting an old Kansas City Scouts jersey and a Sprint Center hat, loading the Stanley Cup and the rest of his Penguins teammates into a convertible and after circling crumbling Mellon Arena once, making a beeline for the state line.

Whew.

And for that, hockey fans everywhere can give thanks.

They can give thanks that a good hockey town won't lose its team over a squabble that has always been more politics than pucks.

They can give thanks that a team that might have a bushel of Stanley Cup rings in its future won't be awarded to another city like some 50-50 raffle prize at the local rink.

They can give thanks that the league, after enduring a number of public relations hits in recent days, got this one right.

With Chris Simon's samurai attack on Ryan Hollweg still getting significant face time on networks (sports and otherwise) across North America, these are headlines that might help put some distance between the NHL and that grisly affair.

With the playoffs set to start four weeks from Wednesday and a bounty of terrific storylines waiting to be played out -- not the least of which is the possibility of a long playoff run by these Penguins -- this bit of good news might well be a launching pad to better times for the league.

In fact, this has been a pretty good week for NHL bigwigs, all things considered.

NHL punishment czar Colin Campbell got it right in a big way Sunday by suspending Simon for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs (or a minimum of 25 games, depending on how the Isles' season plays out).

Then, confirmation came Tuesday morning that the Penguins reached a deal with local authorities to keep the team in Steeltown, signing what was reported by a number of Pittsburgh media outlets to be a 30-year lease. The new arena reportedly will be ready for the 2009-10 season.

The news will be a welcome relief to anxious Penguins fans who have rallied in impressive numbers around their young team. Led by NHL scoring leader Crosby and a bevy of rising young stars, the Penguins look like a lock to make the playoffs for the first time since 2001 and have helped revive the moribund franchise far more quickly than any had imagined.

But with negotiations on a new arena faltering and a brand new arena waiting for some lucky team in Kansas City, the very real prospect the team would be a repeat of the Quebec Nordiques suddenly had added a nightmarish tinge to the team's dream season.

The Nordiques, of course, left Quebec after the 1995 season, and, the following spring, hoisted the first of two Stanley Cups won in Denver to become one of the NHL's most successful franchises.

Now, those relocation fears can be put to rest -- or at least transferred to another location like Nashville or Long Island.

It's still unclear what role NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and/or his right-hand man deputy commissioner Bill Daly had in the ultimate resolution of this deal, but both were on hand when the parties met last Thursday in Philadelphia.

Before that, things looked pretty much off the rails with owner Mario Lemieux and his partners declaring an impasse and jetting off to Las Vegas amid not-so-subtle threats that moving vans had been put on notice.

Bettman, as the league's voice, didn't have the power to compel the Penguins to accept the local deal. But he did have the power to stop the Penguins from going anywhere else.

But as much as Lemieux would have been aware of the league's great interest in keeping the team in Pittsburgh, Bettman would have also made it clear to local authorities that their deal would have to be pretty sweet if the NHL was going to risk going to war with one of its greatest players and a Hall of Famer to boot.

The fact the deal was resurrected in such a short period of time suggests Bettman played a significant role in bringing the two sides together.

If he did, kudos to him for helping make things right for a town, its team and the league.

If he didn't, what the heck.

After watching Simon's attempted decapitation of Hollweg playing in a seemingly endless tape loop these last five nights, even the commissioner deserves a break.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?id=2796585

Jeremy
03-14-2007, 10:20 AM
Who cares? It's Kansas City for crying out loud! They haven't been a relevant sports town since Hank Stram was coaching the Chiefs. Now they can chase the Predators or Seattle Super Sonics.

Counselor
03-14-2007, 10:34 AM
Great articles everyone---thanks for posting them.

If you look back at the timeline a few posts back, you notice how Lemeiux's announcements of "doom and gloom" seemed to be the catalyst for movement each time. i

I agree that Sid's draft was a big component this time around--and he gets first assist, but Mario Lemieux has the 'hat trick' on saving the Pens in Pittsburgh. First goal upon his draft and success in uniform; Second when he organized the group to bring the team out of bankruptcy; and Third--yesterday.

Thanks Mario---In a city of great sports figures who have contributed to this region on and off the field/rink---you may well be the greatest.

Edman
03-14-2007, 10:52 AM
Here's an extra little note. The new arena comes at 290 Million Dollars. More expensive than KC's Sprint Arena. The Pens may have to play one more year in Mellon, but in the end they're getting a pretty nice new home.

83-Steelers-43
03-14-2007, 02:05 PM
Onorato talks with Hill residents about arena
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

By Ann Belser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Less than 24 hours after announcing the deal to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato met this morning with leaders from the Hill District neighborhood where the new arena will be built.

Mr. Onorato and other city and county officials met with neighborhood residents concerned about the impact the replacement for Mellon Arena will have there. The new arena will be built across Centre Avenue from Mellon, and the 28 acres at the former arena will be available for redevelopment.

Mr. Onorato said he understood skepticism from the community about development since little development followed when the former Civic Arena was built more than 40 years ago. He said the city and county have learned lessons during the development of North Shore property between Heinz Field and PNC Park that he hopes to bring to the development around the arena.

Neighborhood leaders complained late last year that the Penguins and Isle of Capri Inc., the team's partner in a failed attempt to win a slots casino license to fund a new arena, didn't involve them in possible development plans.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769372-100.stm

alittlejazzbird
03-14-2007, 02:21 PM
Some companies indicated no interest -- for now. They include US Airways, 84 Lumber Co. and Giant Eagle Corp.

So if Giant Eagle changed its mind and wanted the naming rights, would the arena then be called the Iggleoo?

Jeremy
03-14-2007, 02:24 PM
Onorato talks with Hill residents about arena
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

By Ann Belser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Less than 24 hours after announcing the deal to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato met this morning with leaders from the Hill District neighborhood where the new arena will be built.

Mr. Onorato and other city and county officials met with neighborhood residents concerned about the impact the replacement for Mellon Arena will have there. The new arena will be built across Centre Avenue from Mellon, and the 28 acres at the former arena will be available for redevelopment.

Mr. Onorato said he understood skepticism from the community about development since little development followed when the former Civic Arena was built more than 40 years ago. He said the city and county have learned lessons during the development of North Shore property between Heinz Field and PNC Park that he hopes to bring to the development around the arena.

Neighborhood leaders complained late last year that the Penguins and Isle of Capri Inc., the team's partner in a failed attempt to win a slots casino license to fund a new arena, didn't involve them in possible development plans.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769372-100.stm

It's a new day for the city. The failures of the past can't be repeated and Pittsburgh's leaders understand that very well. There's no possible way that the city's braintrust can pass up this opportunity.

83-Steelers-43
03-14-2007, 02:24 PM
Who cares? It's Kansas City for crying out loud! They haven't been a relevant sports town since Hank Stram was coaching the Chiefs. Now they can chase the Predators or Seattle Super Sonics.

I agree. It's over and done with now. They can cry all they want. I really don't care what they have to say from here on out.

Jeremy
03-14-2007, 02:25 PM
I agree. It's over and done with now. They can cry all they want. I really don't care what they have to say from here on out.

Look, I didn't even bother reading the thread. I've heard it all before and I'm sure I'll hear it again how KC is a more "progressive" city than Pittsburgh and how we're spoiled and don't deserve what we have. But once you understand what progressive really means, you'll understand why they're crying about the situation.

HometownGal
03-14-2007, 03:03 PM
Neighborhood leaders complained late last year that the Penguins and Isle of Capri Inc., the team's partner in a failed attempt to win a slots casino license to fund a new arena, didn't involve them in possible development plans.


I shall take the Fifth here. That is all.

X-Terminator
03-14-2007, 09:12 PM
I shall take the Fifth here. That is all.

Ditto. You know where I stand on this issue.

SteelCityMan786
03-14-2007, 09:38 PM
Who cares? It's Kansas City for crying out loud! They haven't been a relevant sports town since Hank Stram was coaching the Chiefs. Now they can chase the Predators or Seattle Super Sonics.

Last I checked, the Sonics got a new arena.

83-Steelers-43
03-14-2007, 10:11 PM
Onorato talks with Hill residents about arena
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

By Ann Belser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Less than 24 hours after announcing the deal to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato met this morning with leaders from the Hill District neighborhood where the new arena will be built.

Mr. Onorato and other city and county officials met with neighborhood residents concerned about the impact the replacement for Mellon Arena will have there. The new arena will be built across Centre Avenue from Mellon, and the 28 acres at the former arena will be available for redevelopment.

Mr. Onorato said he understood skepticism from the community about development since little development followed when the former Civic Arena was built more than 40 years ago. He said the city and county have learned lessons during the development of North Shore property between Heinz Field and PNC Park that he hopes to bring to the development around the arena.

Neighborhood leaders complained late last year that the Penguins and Isle of Capri Inc., the team's partner in a failed attempt to win a slots casino license to fund a new arena, didn't involve them in possible development plans.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07073/769372-100.stm

Good luck Dan. God knows you must keep silent when it comes to this topic. We all know what your pegged as if you speak your mind/opinion when it comes to this situation....... :jerkit: :rolleyes:

HometownGal
03-14-2007, 11:46 PM
Mr. Onorato said he understood skepticism from the community about development since little development followed when the former Civic Arena was built more than 40 years ago. He said the city and county have learned lessons during the development of North Shore property between Heinz Field and PNC Park that he hopes to bring to the development around the arena.


Yeah - like not building anything in that area worth a hill of beans because it will be defaced and destroyed by some of the same residents (and/or their offspring) who are doing all of the BAM-BAM'ing. :rolleyes: I say - Mr. Onorato - put up that wall! :cheers:

X-Terminator
03-15-2007, 01:37 AM
Yeah - like not building anything in that area worth a hill of beans because it will be defaced and destroyed by some of the same residents (and/or their offspring) who are doing all of the BAM-BAM'ing. :rolleyes: I say - Mr. Onorato - put up that wall! :cheers:

Can't help but agree. I would not have a problem with them having a say if they are going to make sure that they keep the troublemakers under control. What good would having new development around the arena be if no one wants to go anywhere near it out of fear, or it ends up looking like crap within 2-3 years? I say develop the area, but make sure the have their house in order first.

And just to expand on this subject, here's the story on yesterday's meeting:

Hill seeks rink-side seat on arena plans

By Andrew Conte
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 15, 2007

State Rep. Jake Wheatley has no love for Mellon Arena, but he's upset local officials made plans to demolish it without asking him or other nearby residents.

The deal for a new Uptown arena requires the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority to tear down the 46-year-old building as soon as the new one opens. The site will be turned into a temporary parking lot so the Penguins can make more money to contribute toward the arena.

"As a community, we agreed we want to go through a process to determine what we deem historical, cultural or not," said Wheatley, a Hill District Democrat. "I don't necessarily see that as a cultural, historic building ... but I'm not the only one with a say in this process."

Wheatley and other community leaders talked Wednesday morning with Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato about redevelopment plans for the Lower Hill District. Now that the Penguins have a deal for a new arena between Centre and Fifth avenues, the discussion has started about what to do with the land under the old building in the long run.

Onorato said representatives from his office, the Mayor's Office, the Penguins and the SEA would form a "working group" with community leaders from the Hill District to discuss development. Any plan would need approval from the sports authority and the city, he said.

"We have a couple of checks and balances in this process," he said. "There might be differences (of opinion), but you can work through any of those."

The Penguins get the rights to develop the 28-acre Mellon Arena site, but are required to develop at least 2.8 acres a year for 10 years or lose the development rights. The team can sell land and pocket the money, or develop it.

"We plan on having a meeting in the near future with the leaders and members of the Hill community to discuss the development," said David Morehouse, the Penguins' senior consultant.

Preservation Pittsburgh, a historic preservation group, wants to find new uses for Mellon Arena and opposes its demolition, said Executive Director Steven Paul. In 2003, the city Historic Review Commission refused to designate the arena as historic.

"There's all this rhetoric that 'we'll absolutely work with all the stakeholders of the community to come up with the best plan, but we're going to demolish it first,' " Paul said.

Community leaders emerged from yesterday's meeting saying they do not have specific development plans in mind, but want to make sure the community has a say. City leaders leveled the Lower Hill District community in the late 1950s to make way for Mellon Arena.

"The opportunity for us is to have a thoughtful, meaningful redevelopment of the Lower Hill," said Evan Frazier, Hill House Association CEO. "That's if it has the full inclusion of key stakeholders, so we don't find ourselves in a position where history repeats itself and key decisions are made without community involvement."

Melvin Montgomery, 57, a lifelong Hill District resident, said he has no problem with Mellon Arena coming down, as long as its demise leads to long-term job opportunities and the creation of a community-friendly recreation building with pools, exercise equipment and programs for senior citizens.

"Anything that encourages people to interact in a positive manner, I'm all for it," Montgomery said. "I think that's exciting, what's happening for this area."

Others remained exhilarated by the Pens' arena deal, but emphasized the team should use the project as an excuse to get more involved with its neighbors.

"All this time, I've not yet heard of the Penguins doing a single thing for this community," said Jerome Maynor, 63, a Hill District man who'd like to see the development include something for neighborhood children and teenagers.

"This is their home, in the Hill District," he said. "I would like to see the Penguins do something for the community. You have all your events here. Give back."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_497791.html

There is another story at the PG's website on this meeting, as well as other issues, which can be read here (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07074/769719-61.stm).

X-Terminator
03-15-2007, 01:41 AM
Pens to reap housewarming gifts

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Revenues generated from a new arena should give the Penguins' owners happy feet.

The team is worth substantially more than it was before Tuesday, when owners and public officials announced a deal for a new Uptown arena that will replace Mellon Arena in two years.

"This could increase the value of the team by $15 million or $50 million -- it all depends on how many events they can have the new building host," Forbes magazine senior editor Michael Ozanian said.

Forbes assessed the Penguins' value at $137 million in 2006.

"They are basically controlling the (new) arena like they own it," Ozanian said. "In that situation, it's all about programming."

A comparable situation exists in Columbus, Ohio, where the Blue Jackets are the main tenant at Nationwide Arena, which opened in 2000. On average, that facility is used nearly 120 times a year, excluding hockey games. Mellon Arena was used 85 times for non-hockey events in 2006.

According to terms of Pittsburgh's new arena deal, the Penguins are responsible for management, operation and maintenance of the facility in return for all revenue. However, they could have trouble matching the gate success of facilities such as Nationwide Arena, Ozanian said.

"The bad thing about Pittsburgh is that it is one of the only top-25 television markets that is losing population," Ozanian said. "If that trend continues, you have to wonder if it would make it more difficult to secure pricey advertising and sponsorship. The economy in Pittsburgh is just not that strong."

The Penguins' new arena deal will raise them from the bottom to the middle of the NHL pack in terms of team value.

"At least," Chicago-based Team Marketing Report editor Jon Greenberg said. "But one of the things about the value of the Penguins is, even if they are worth $150 million, who wants to buy them? I could easily see them going for $175 million, but is somebody willing to pay that for an NHL team?"

In terms of television ratings and attendance on a national level, the NHL has not done well to match the Penguins' success in Pittsburgh, Greenberg said. However, he added that the Penguins' on-ice potential to rate among the NHL's elite -- and perhaps most marketable -- clubs could go a long way toward raising the value of the team.

Deep playoff runs mean millions to owners, Greenberg said. The potential for consistent postseason gates likely would be a sweetener to a potential new owner.

The Penguins are not for sale. Team co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle indicated as much Tuesday.

"That doesn't surprise me, because there is a lot of money to be made for the Penguins in the future if they keep up their on-ice success, especially with this new arena deal," Greenberg said. "I'm sure Mario's advisers are telling him to hold on for a while and then sell when the team is at its perceived high point.

"That is a few years away."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_497831.html

X-Terminator
03-15-2007, 02:11 AM
Just to follow up on the Hill District flap - did anyone ever hear about North Side "leaders" wanting a say over the redevelopment of the land between and around the stadiums? I certainly don't recall any.

"All this time, I've not yet heard of the Penguins doing a single thing for this community," said Jerome Maynor, 63, a Hill District man who'd like to see the development include something for neighborhood children and teenagers.

Oh great, build something for neighborhood children and teenagers, so they can destroy it and turn it into another haven for drug deals and shootings. Wonderful idea there! :thumbsup: :rolleyes:

"This is their home, in the Hill District," he said. "I would like to see the Penguins do something for the community. You have all your events here. Give back."

Why should the Penguins have to do anything for the community? What, building their new arena there and redeveloping the old arena site isn't enough? They should be thankful for that, because they could have easily searched for and found another site (like, say on the North Shore), and the Hill District would remain for the most part a run down, hollowed-out, crime-ridden neighborhood where nobody wants to go.

83-Steelers-43
03-15-2007, 06:14 AM
"All this time, I've not yet heard of the Penguins doing a single thing for this community," said Jerome Maynor, 63, a Hill District man who'd like to see the development include something for neighborhood children and teenagers.

IMO, build all you want for the kids. It's better than them getting mixed up in drugs/gangs and what not. I'm all for that and feel it's an excellent idea.

It's just strange, I heard a comment the other day from a resident stating that there are some good places to eat in the Hill. Okay, on Arthur St. (right off of Centre Avenue) my dad had his car stolen and demolished on a chase years back. Now why in the hell would I go up there to eat?

I'm sorry, a white boy in the Hill District at 11:00 PM trying to get something to eat? No thanks. Anybody in my family in the Hill District at 11:00 PM trying to get something to eat? No thanks. W/e they do decide to build up there they better beef up police patrols and residents might want to step up and try to clean things up in the area.

Until things change up there I will continue to go to the games, leave the area and eat in an area where I don't have to worry about getting my car stolen or getting mugged. I'm not holding my breath.

HometownGal
03-15-2007, 11:05 AM
State Rep. Jake Wheatley has no love for Mellon Arena, but he's upset local officials made plans to demolish it without asking him or other nearby residents.


Excuse me, Mr. Wheatley, but who died and left you boss? :blah: :blah: Gee - wonder how many Pens games or arena events this schmo has gone to in his lifetime. :scratchchin:

steelerbackr4life
03-15-2007, 12:10 PM
Isnt the Hill the one and only place that celebrations got a little out of hand after XL ?

83-Steelers-43
03-15-2007, 01:45 PM
Isnt the Hill the one and only place that celebrations got a little out of hand after XL ?

Nope. That was the South Side and Oakland.

34 total arrests in the city mostly on the South Side for minor violations. Three arrests in Oakland for property crime with four cars overturned, awnings or windows on several Forbes Avenue shops were damaged.

Both Oakland and the South Side are safe areas for the most part. Oakland is pretty much all college students (PITT and Carnegie Mellon locations) while the South Side is lined with shopping/bars/restaurants. While incidents do occur in both areas from time to time they have nothing on the Hill District.

OneForTheToe
03-15-2007, 01:56 PM
I wonder how long this is going to get delayed by lawsuits.

83-Steelers-43
03-15-2007, 02:01 PM
I wonder how long this is going to get delayed by lawsuits.

IMO, I don't believe it will get delayed. There may be appeals between the gambling groups but I don't believe that will effect the arena once it get's started. I believe they already talked with the unions and everything is fine in that area.

I think things will be fine.

steelerbackr4life
03-15-2007, 02:06 PM
Nope. That was the South Side and Oakland.

34 total arrests in the city mostly on the South Side for minor violations. Three arrests in Oakland for property crime with four cars overturned, awnings or windows on several Forbes Avenue shops were damaged.

Both Oakland and the South Side are safe areas for the most part. Oakland is pretty much all college students (PITT and Carnegie Mellon locations) while the South Side is lined with shopping/bars/restaurants. While incidents do occur in both areas from time to time they have nothing on the Hill District.

Oh ok thanks. Im familiar with the North side, downtown, the Strip district and station square. Oakland was my second guess for the car burning incident I remember watching it on t.v. after I got into town the Monday night after XL at Primantis.

83-Steelers-43
03-15-2007, 02:10 PM
Oh ok thanks. Im familiar with the North side, downtown, the Strip district and station square. Oakland was my second guess for the car burning incident I remember watching it on t.v. after I got into town the Monday night after XL at Primantis.

No problem. Yeah I was kind of expecting the car overturns in Oakland because of the large amount of college kids in the area. I actually thought there would be more incidents but people behaved themselves for the most part. It seemed like the majority of arrests were for public intoxication. Hell, they could have arrested the whole damn city on that night for that charge...:wink02:

steelerbackr4life
03-15-2007, 02:20 PM
No problem. Yeah I was kind of expecting the car overturns in Oakland because of the large amount of college kids in the area. I actually thought there would be more incidents but people behaved themselves for the most part. It seemed like the majority of arrests were for public intoxication. Hell, they could have arrested the whole damn city on that night for that charge...:wink02:


You got that right! :cheers: Funny thing my daughter who was 13 at the time had never been to any other city besides N.Y. and couldnt get over the facts that the streets werent crowded and there was no trash any where at 1:00 a.m.

Counselor
03-15-2007, 02:25 PM
Just to follow up on the Hill District flap - did anyone ever hear about North Side "leaders" wanting a say over the redevelopment of the land between and around the stadiums? I certainly don't recall any.

Actually I do recall that---of course the community leaders wanted and continue to want a say in development. I beg to differ with the great majority---if they were building a big huge new development in your neighborhood wouldn't you (or your council and/or homeowners assoc) want a say in it? I certainly would.

I find the North Side is similar to the Hill----a number of run down areas but also some cultural gems. There are very successful people who chose to live in these areas because they like the communities.

I don't blame the Hill residents for being skeptical---the old arena basically cut the Hill off from the rest of the city. I also didn't blame them for having concerns over a casino from Isle of Capri----its a fact that casinos bring more crime. Just wait until the casino development starts on the North Side---there will be a lot of community concern there as well.

83-Steelers-43
03-15-2007, 02:26 PM
You got that right! :cheers: Funny thing my daughter who was 13 at the time had never been to any other city besides N.Y. and couldnt get over the facts that the streets werent crowded and there was no trash any where at 1:00 a.m.

Yeah, NYC and Pittsburgh are apples and oranges when it comes to night life. Bars close early. One of the few dislikes I have when dealing with this city. I'm not a big bar/party guy, but there are nights where I would like to stay out at a bar past 1:00 or 2:00 AM.

Also, NYC just has a better night life overall. I love this city but it's behind the times in certain areas. Hopefully in time that will change. Starting with table games instead of strictly slots in the new casino. First WV has to do it (which they are working on) and then we will soon follow *fingers crossed* :wink02:

I love big cities, but after spending a week in NYC after living here my whole life I almost passed out from exhaustion. Everything is fast paced. Everybody is always on the move and I can't get over the amount of people on the streets at certain times. Pittsburgh is a little more laid back and slow paced. Not too big but not too small.

I love Little Italy and Brooklyn though.

steelerbackr4life
03-15-2007, 02:36 PM
Yeah, NYC and Pittsburgh are apples and oranges when it comes to night life. Bars close early. One of the few dislikes I have when dealing with this city. I'm not a big bar/party guy, but there are nights where I would like to stay out at a bar past 1:00 or 2:00 AM.

Also, NYC just has a better night life overall...lol. I love this city but it's behind the times in certain areas. Hopefully in time that will change. Starting with table games instead of strictly slots in the new casino. First WV has to do it (which they are working on) and then we will soon follow *fingers crossed* :wink02:


Id be fine with status quo. One of the things we like about visiting is its quaintness. To us it is a nice quiet getaway to a small town with alot of friendly people! Although I probably would feel differently if it was my main outlet for night life.

HometownGal
03-15-2007, 04:01 PM
I beg to differ with the great majority---if they were building a big huge new development in your neighborhood wouldn't you (or your council and/or homeowners assoc) want a say in it? I certainly would.


If I contributed something to my community other than looting, drug dealing, prostitution, defacing City property with graffiti and setting fires, and also paid my property taxes when due, I'd have to agree with you, Counselor. :wink02:

I also didn't blame them for having concerns over a casino from Isle of Capri----its a fact that casinos bring more crime. Just wait until the casino development starts on the North Side---there will be a lot of community concern there as well.

A casino which I can almost guarantee you 95% of those complaining will be regular visitors at. More crime? The Hill has been and still is one of the highest crime areas in the City, though the late Mayor O'Connor had started "redding it up" before he passed.

Why should the Hill residents have a say in anything below the Hill (the new arena property) when many of them did absolutely nothing themselves to clean up their own community?

Jeremy
03-15-2007, 07:26 PM
There are going to be some headaches, but that's what you're going to get with any new development of this size.

I hope it works out well for everyone. Maybe once the arena is built I can get back up to see it at least once!

83-Steelers-43
03-17-2007, 11:32 AM
Hey Penguin fans! Want to cap off that Penguin win with a night cap? After the game come on down to the Cotton Club. Great prices! Great food! Great service! One dollar beers on game nights!!!

So come on down to the Cotton Club!! http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07076/770422-100.stm

Don't worry though, you won't have to worry about those pesky gamblers!!!!

83-Steelers-43
03-17-2007, 11:34 AM
Doesn't appear they are wasting very much time....

First arena contract OK'd
Friday, March 16, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Only days after an agreement on a new arena was announced, the city-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority board moved quickly to keep the project moving.

Yesterday, the board authorized a $1.48 million contract with Abmech Inc. to remove asbestos and other environmental hazards from the old St. Francis Central Hospital, one of the buildings to be demolished to make way for the $290 million arena.

The authority is hoping to start the work within the next two weeks. Abmech will have 105 days to do the job.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07075/770030-53.stm

83-Steelers-43
03-18-2007, 04:14 AM
Seven-year quest begat new arena for Pens

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_498288.html

Edman
03-18-2007, 04:21 PM
The new arena is going to bring some growing pains. I see. Pain is the price of progress. But it'll be worth it.

polamalufan43
03-18-2007, 07:34 PM
The new arena is going to bring some growing pains. I see. Pain is the price of progress. But it'll be worth it.

Possibly, I think I said something about this a few posts back, but I guess we'll wait and see. Either way I almost threw a party when I heard about the contracts, lol.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

83-Steelers-43
03-19-2007, 12:08 PM
City seeks NHL All-Star Game at new arena
Monday, March 19, 2007

By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said today that he's hoping to bring the National Hockey League All-Star Game to Pittsburgh within a few years of the opening of a new arena, and has initiated talks with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman toward that end.

He said the idea, which he planted with Mr. Bettman on Tuesday shortly before the financial plan for a new arena was unveiled, is part of what he hopes will be a sustained effort to attract big events to the new venue in its early years.

"We have a five-year window, for example, of the building being new, being fresh," he said. "We would ideally be in the running to get the NCAA [basketball] tournament back."

Mr. Bettman "said it's a reasonable expectation to look at Pittsburgh as a site for the NHL All-Star Game after the new arena opens," the mayor said. "The earliest we'd be looking at is 2011 or 2012."

The city last hosted the NHL All-Star Game in 1990. The game is to be played in Atlanta in 2008, Montreal in 2009, and won't occur in 2010, because it is not held in years during which there is a winter olympiad.

Glendale, Ariz., where the Phoenix Coyotes play in a new building, may have the inside track on 2011. It was slated to get the game in 2006 before the league decided not to hold it because of the conflict with the Olympic Games, in which many of the league's stars play.

Mr. Ravenstahl said the idea of making a pitch for the game came to him near the close of the arena negotiations, and he got the Penguins' support before approaching Mr. Bettman.

The city had a great experience with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game last year, he said.

"With a new facility, and the great young team that we have, the opportunity to highlight Pittsburgh again on a national level was really intriguing," he said. "Small businesses, restaurants, those types of venues, hotels, really receive a shot in the arm from all-star games."

The city and Allegheny County are negotiating lease terms for the $290 million arena with the team this month, and it could open in 2009.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07078/770734-100.stm

Jeremy
03-19-2007, 12:26 PM
"We have a five-year window, for example, of the building being new, being fresh," he said. "We would ideally be in the running to get the NCAA [basketball] tournament back."

Where have we heard this before? :wink02:

83-Steelers-43
03-19-2007, 01:40 PM
I hope they get the All-Star game. I was at the last one in Pittsburgh and it was great. In a new arena I can only imagine how much more remarkable the experience will be.

HometownGal
03-19-2007, 03:02 PM
"We have a five-year window, for example, of the building being new, being fresh," he said. "We would ideally be in the running to get the NCAA [basketball] tournament back."

Where have we heard this before? :wink02:

LOL! :sofunny:

BOXCAR JOEY
03-19-2007, 03:09 PM
Speaking of new arenas... How about them devils with the new newark arena. what a magnificent architecural structure. I hope the pens get the same designer.

83-Steelers-43
03-19-2007, 04:37 PM
Speaking of new arenas... How about them devils with the new newark arena. what a magnificent architecural structure. I hope the pens get the same designer.

Hopefully that will boost attendance. Apparently a team who is currently in first place in it's division and who also have four cup wins since 1995, six conference final meetings since 1988, six divisional titles since 1997 and fourteen total playoff appearances since 1988 is simply not doing "it" for the fans in NJ. How those credentials can only pack a 74.7 PCT home attendance (5th worst) is beyond my understanding.

On that note, I've always respected the New Jersey Devils when it comes to their organization. Lou Lamoriello in particular. Compared to the Bobby Clarke's and Ted Leonis's of the league, Lou's a class act who actually knows how to run/manage a hockey team.

steelerbackr4life
03-19-2007, 04:54 PM
Very well put I myself am guilty of not wanting to leave work early trek up the parkway get stuck in traffic then be late for the game in an arena that is half full.

Joey also has a good point last week they did a special on the Devils new digs and it was nothing short of incredible. If the Pens get something like that it would be awesome.

83-Steelers-43
03-19-2007, 05:04 PM
By no means am I busting on all Devil fans and please don't take it that way. I did not mean to offend you and I apologize if I did so. I'm sure the Devils have their loyal fans (Boxcar Joey and yourself) much like every other fanbase, but I just find it hard that they can't pack a bigger house. If anything, it's sad watching a team with all that talent play in front of a half packed house at best. The same could be said in Nashville.

By all means I hope the new arena helps you guys out. We need somebody to keep those Flyer, Islander and Ranger fans in check. :wink02:

When it comes to new arena's, the one venue I want to hit up in the near future is the Xcel Energy Center. Also, if you ever get a chance, try hitting up the Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Excellent venue.

steelerbackr4life
03-19-2007, 05:25 PM
No offense taken at all. Im sorry if you took my post that way. It was as I stated earlier a very well put post on your part, you even took the time to list all the Devils achievments. I was merely trying to point out how a typical weekday trip to see a game for me turns out and offer it as one reason why the fan base seems to be so unsupportive.

Look me up any time you want to come into town. (The Pirates are also playing the Yankees this year on June 10th Ill buy you a beer in the Bronx) :cheers:

83-Steelers-43
03-19-2007, 05:27 PM
No offense taken at all. Im sorry if you took my post that way. It was as I stated earlier a very well put post on your part, you even took the time to list all the Devils achievments. I was merely trying to point out how a typical weekday trip to see a game for me turns out and offer it as one reason why the fan base seems to be so unsupportive.

Look me up any time you want to come into town. (The Pirates are also playing the Yankees this year on June 10th Ill buy you a beer in the Bronx) :cheers:

That's a deal. I'll do the same if you make it to Da' Burgh. :cheers:

Edman
03-19-2007, 05:36 PM
Just seen on WPXI that considering that the new arena is finished, Pittsburgh will host the 2011 NHL All-Star game! Or was it a candidate? I can't recall and just missed it. But I seen it.

See? Good things are happening already!

83-Steelers-43
03-19-2007, 05:39 PM
Just seen on WPXI that considering that the new arena is finished, Pittsburgh will host the 2011 NHL All-Star game! Or was it a candidate? I can't recall and just missed it. But I seen it.

See? Good things are happening already!

Thread #216 on page 22 in this thread.

steelerbackr4life
03-19-2007, 05:46 PM
That's a deal. I'll do the same if you make it to Da' Burgh. :cheers:

Oh I definitely make it a point to get to Da' Burgh a few times each year. I spent more time last December with steelers4life in Da' Burgh than I did at work.

Edman
03-19-2007, 06:33 PM
Thread #216 on page 22 in this thread.

Well, thanks for ruining my attempt to contribute news to the site. Oh well.

BOXCAR JOEY
03-19-2007, 08:37 PM
as a devils season ticket holder, i get up set when i see all those empty gaps between seats. supposedly thats going to be a thing of the past with the new arena due to the fact that it is going to be more accessible with public transportation. (YAY!)

but yes the new arena will be crazy awesome and if the pens get something of the same caliber, if not way more awesome, their attendence will be through the roof.


the next statement is totaly not like me:


I need the pens to lose tonight to the rangers. Only for the pure simple fact that i need the rangers to get 7th place , then get swepted by the devils in the first round.

X-Terminator
03-20-2007, 01:19 AM
City dreams big about new arena's future
Mayor's already lobbying for NHL All-Star Game, other big events

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Just a week after a deal to finance a new arena was reached, the salivating has begun.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, a sports fan, wants to lure the National Hockey League All-Star Game and the NCAA men's basketball tournament to the venue.

The Penguins want all that, plus the NHL draft and the "Frozen Four," the NCAA's hockey tournament.

The Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau adds religious events and even barbershop quartet gatherings to that wish list.

If it seems a little cart-before-the-horse, event planners say it's really not. A $290 million state-backed financing plan has won team approval, and while little matters like completing a lease, designing the facility, and building it remain, cities have to plan ahead to get the big events.

The arena is not expected to open before late 2009. But as sometimes-contentious arena talks wrapped up a week ago, the mayor told NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that he wanted to bring the league's showcase game to town.

"Being that we're putting the investment in and are going to have really a state-of-the-art facility, what better way to highlight that on a national level than through an All-Star Game?" the mayor asked yesterday.

The Penguins raised the issue with Mr. Bettman even earlier, writing to him around six months ago on the subject, said team spokesman Tom McMillan.

The team "wrote a letter that said basically that if we get a new arena, we'd definitely, definitely, definitely like to host the All-Star Game," he said.

League officials "know what we have," he said. "They know the fan interest here. And we have star players."

A new arena and enthusiastic mayor may be the clinchers, Mr. McMillan said. "The mayor coming out and saying that [he wants the game here] can only help. And the fact that Pittsburgh did so well with the [2006 Major League Baseball] All-Star Game can only help."

The city last hosted the NHL All-Star Game in 1990. The game is to be played in Atlanta in 2008, Montreal in 2009, and won't occur in 2010, because it is not held in years during which there is a winter Olympiad.

Glendale, Ariz., where the Phoenix Coyotes play in a 3-year-old building, may have the inside track on 2011. It was slated to get the game in 2006 before the league decided not to hold it because of the conflict with the Olympic Games, in which many of the league's stars play.

There is no timeline for naming a host city for 2011 or 2012, according to NHL spokesman Frank Brown.

Mr. McMillan said the NHL Board of Governors will at some point request statements of interest from cities with hockey teams, and when it does, "we will be part of the bidding process."

The game occurs in mid-winter, when Downtown hotels are half-empty, according to Don Andrezjwski, director of sales and marketing at the DoubleTree Hotel, Downtown.

"With the All-Star Game here, it would be a sold-out weekend, no doubt," he said. That means business for cab drivers, waitresses, bartenders, maids and even the truck drivers that bring food to local restaurants.

The city had no estimate of the economic impact of last year's baseball All-Star Game on the local economy or the tax take.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said that event "brought thousands of visitors, millions of dollars and national attention to our region and enabled us to showcase PNC Park and our burgeoning North Shore and Downtown neighborhoods." He said the hockey event would similarly showcase the Hill District and Uptown, where the arena and hoped-for spin-off development would be built.

Mellon Arena hosted early rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 1997 and 2002. The building isn't up to current standards for the top college sporting events and some concerts, said Bob Imperata, executive vice president of the convention bureau.

With a new arena, the city could make a play for part of the 2011 men's tournament, or maybe the women's Final Four.

He said his organization was on the phone with prospective convention holders that prefer arenas over convention centers as soon as a deal was struck. Events like the Barbershop Harmony Convention are suddenly within the city's grasp.

At that 10,000-person event, barbershop quartets perform. "They need a permanent stage," Mr. Imperata said. "The acoustics are very, very important to them, as you might expect."

He may try to land that event for 2014 or beyond.

Some religious groups hold events in arenas, he said.

The Penguins ownership, which will have a central role in booking events at the new arena, would love to take a stab at getting the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, said Mr. McMillan. The coming arena, he said, "creates a whirlwind of possibilities."

"We have that window, a five-year window, for example, of the building being new, being fresh, being the place to be," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "That's why we want to push so hard as quickly as we can to make some good things happen."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07079/770865-61.stm

SteelCityMan786
03-20-2007, 05:09 PM
I say, bring on the all star game to Pittsburgh.

X-Terminator
03-21-2007, 01:36 AM
Wow...27 years old and already acting like a seasoned veteran politician. I doubt many people would have cared about this trip if he hadn't lied about it.

Ravenstahl expresses regret for answer on New York trip

By Jeremy Boren
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today said he regrets how he answered a question about a trip he took to New York City with billionaire Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle, who treated the mayor to a flight on his private jet and dinner and drinks at a swanky Manhattan hotel.

?Certainly I wish I would have clarified and continued to answer the question from there,? Ravenstahl said this afternoon during an American Heart Association event at Heinz Field. ?But If I could have been more clear at that point it would have been, I think, in everybody?s best interest, mine included at this point.?

Ravenstahl initially told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Monday morning that he did not travel to New York, but he changed his story in the afternoon after the Trib confronted him with more details about the overnight trip. The mayor was asked if he traveled to New York "on anything related to the Penguins." He said he replied, ?No,? because he didn't consider the trip to be Penguins-related business.

The trip was campaign-related and not illegal, he said.

?Everything will be documented,? Ravenstahl said. ?Nothing that I did was illegal, nothing that I did cost the city taxpayers a dime. And so for that reason I would simply say that nothing was illegal that was done and the trip was appropriate.?

Ravenstahl, 27, of Summer Hill, said today he?s not sorry for going to New York and missing a Wednesday morning meeting with Hill District community leaders, who visited Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato to discuss how to develop up to 28 acres of land near the site of the new arena.

The mayor said he meant to attend the meeting, but his flight did not return to Pittsburgh in time.

Ravenstahl and other officials last Tuesday announced the $290 million arena deal. After the announcement, Ravenstahl attended the Penguins game against the Buffalo Sabres at Mellon Arena with Burkle, who invited him and others onto his private jet and bought the mayor food and drinks at Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan.

Burkle owns a Boeing 757, which his friend -- former President Bill Clinton -- refers to as "Ron Air."

The mayor said he will report the expense of the trip and the meal on his campaign finance reports. He is considering whether to reimburse Burkle for the cost.

This wasn't the first Ravenstahl denial to turn into an admission during his 6.5 months in office.

On Jan. 18, after denying it for months, he acknowledged that police handcuffed and detained him before a 2005 Steelers game at Heinz Field. He never was charged.

City Councilman Bill Peduto, who is challenging Ravenstahl in the May 15 Democratic primary, said the mayor?s trip was an ethical breach.

?Is it something that anyone else would have been given? No. He was given this because he?s the mayor of the city,? said Peduto, 42, of Point Breeze. ?It has nothing to do with the issues that we?re talking about on this campaign.?

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_498703.html

HometownGal
03-21-2007, 08:44 AM
Wow...27 years old and already acting like a seasoned veteran politician. I doubt many people would have cared about this trip if he hadn't lied about it.



I don't condone his fabrications by any means, but the only reason the media made such a big deal out of it is because he missed that "all important" meeting with the Hill District leaders regarding the development of the 28 acres of land adjacent to the new arena site. Of course Peduto jumped right on it - gee what a shocker.

Counselor
03-21-2007, 10:34 AM
Ravenstahl initially told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Monday morning that he did not travel to New York, but he changed his story in the afternoon after the Trib confronted him with more details about the overnight trip.


On Jan. 18, after denying it for months, he acknowledged that police handcuffed and detained him before a 2005 Steelers game at Heinz Field. He never was charged.


Is this kid a freaking idiot? Does he not understand that you never lie about something that can be proven.

Wow...27 years old and already acting like a seasoned veteran politician.

No, he's not acting like a veteran at all---he's a total amateur. These are lies about stupid things that don't matter and that can be easily proven. Its like the "my dog ate my homework" excuse. Unbelievable. What he has acomplished is proving that he IS a liar.

I doubt many people would have cared about this trip if he hadn't lied about it.

Very true.

83-Steelers-43
03-21-2007, 10:41 AM
Once he get's detained again at a Steeler tailgate all will be forgotten and forgiven. It's the Pittsburgh way. :thumbsup:

83-Steelers-43
03-28-2007, 12:10 PM
City to give Pens tax pledge

By Jeremy Boren
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pittsburgh is poised to forgo money generated by a higher amusement tax at the Penguins planned $290 million Uptown arena.

City Council gave preliminary approval this morning to what members called a small concession to the team, which is hammering out a 30-year lease on a new arena with the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority.

If it passes a final vote Tuesday, the city's tax deal exempts anyone using the new arena for an event from paying anything beyond city's current 5-percent amusement tax.

Mellon Arena generates $1.7 million to $2.3 million in amusement taxes, said Scott Kunka, the city's finance director. The city hasn't estimated what a new arena would make.

Council members said it's unlikely the city will raise the amusement tax anyway. A state law passed in the mid-90s required Pittsburgh to set its amusement tax at 5 percent. If it raises it, the city could risk losing $20 million a year in grants.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_500001.html

BOXCAR JOEY
03-28-2007, 02:44 PM
hmmmmmmm the Kansas City Penguins does has a sharp ring-a-ding a bout hahahahahaha. Just kidding

Edman
03-29-2007, 01:49 PM
hmmmmmmm the Kansas City Penguins does has a sharp ring-a-ding a bout hahahahahaha. Just kidding

Please, no more Kansas City. One of the scariest ordeals in Pittsburgh Sports history is over. We came pretty damn close to losing our Pens and having just the Steelers to look to for any sports entertainment (Don't count on the Pirates doing anything anytime soon). Let's learn from it for the future, let it die, and make sure it NEVER, EVER happens again in 30 years. :wink02:

The arena deal is settled, it's time to look forward to (and perhaps dream of) the city of Pittsburgh's bright future and their brand new arena.

X-Terminator
04-06-2007, 01:01 AM
I don't think I need to tell anyone how I feel about this...:thmbdown:


Hill leaders issue arena demands

Ask for $10 million for development, share of revenue, guarantee of jobs in meeting with Ravenstahl, Onorato

Friday, April 06, 2007
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hill District business leaders and clergy want $10 million in development funding, a share of arena revenue and guaranteed jobs for minorities as part of a construction surge that includes a new venue for the Penguins.

The demands were made in a proposed term sheet given to Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato at a meeting yesterday at Wesley Center African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

Around 20 neighborhood leaders spent two hours behind closed doors with Mr. Ravenstahl, Mr. Onorato, state Sen. Jim Ferlo, state Rep. Jake Wheatley and city Councilwoman Tonya Payne.

"What came out of today's meeting was an agreement to make sure there's a benefit" to the community, said Marimba Milliones, an organizer of the Greater Hill Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

"I think it was a good step in the right direction, but we still need to arrive at a firm understanding between all parties of what the relationship between our government agencies, private interests and the Hill District will be."

There was not unanimous agreement. Some of those attending the meeting said the terms didn't reflect a broad consensus.

The proposed three-page term sheet would give an unspecified group or representative of the Hill a seat at the table with the city, county, Penguins and involved developers in talks on construction of the arena and revival of the surrounding area.

As part of the development package, $10 million up front and an unspecified annual contribution for 30 years thereafter would "be directed to the Greater Hill District community's development interest." The term sheet doesn't specify who would control those funds.

An unspecified percentage of the revenue from the new arena and surrounding development would be reinvested in the Hill. The developer would also have to fund a master planning process for "the entire Greater Hill District community."

Thirty percent of all arena employees at each job level -- from unskilled laborers to supervisors, managers and executives -- would have to be "minorities of color." The 30 percent rule would also apply to construction and development jobs.

"When people are working to rebuild their community that means a lot, especially to young people," said the Rev. Johnnie Monroe, pastor of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church.

An organization picked by the community would have the right to take title to city-owned or county-owned Hill land at no cost, provided it presented a development plan.

"I think the important thing is that we came to a tangible agreement that respects the needs and agenda of the Hill District community," said Ms. Milliones, declining to discuss details.

Supporters of the terms want elected officials to use their leverage to help get the Penguins and casino developer Don Barden to agree to them.

The approach, though, didn't sit well with Ms. Payne, who said the terms were developed by a few people without the benefit of neighborhood meetings. She added that putting ambitious terms on the table without full community buy-in likely wouldn't work.

"I really believe that the Penguins want to work with this community and want to be good neighbors," she said. "But you've got to give them a chance to do good in the community, not come in and say, 'Do one, two, three, or I'll knock you out.' "

"It seemed like these groups were trying to position themselves to try to receive any kind of funds that's going to come into the area," said Pearlean Coleman, a Democratic Committee leader from the Lower Hill who attended the meeting.

Mr. Wheatley, who supported the approach, said it's important to ensure that Hill leaders get control of some of the incoming development dollars associated with the $290 million arena and a hoped-for $350 million redevelopment of parts of the Lower Hill District.

"We could have significant new dollars coming in to develop the Hill in a way that not only helps visitors, but the people who live here," he said. "Like we've always said, this is a new day for the Hill."

Talks on the terms will now move to a smaller group including two representatives of the Hill, two from the mayor's office, two from county government and someone from the Sports & Exhibition Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

"There were a lot of issues that, say, there wasn't consensus yet, but we want this [smaller] group to work them out," said Mr. Onorato.

The end product should be a written "community benefits agreement," the mayor said.

"Included in that ideally would be the specifics of community involvement," Mr. Ravenstahl said, adding that the Penguins and Mr. Barden would be invited to a future meeting. They were not represented yesterday.

Mr. Barden, in his successful application for the city's lone slot machine casino license, said he'd pay $7.5 million a year toward arena financing, and help spur $350 million in new construction nearby. His casino is slated for the North Shore.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07096/775655-53.stm

HometownGal
04-06-2007, 08:09 AM
ROFLMAO!!!!!! :toofunny: :toofunny: That's about all I can muster up about that article, XT. :toofunny:

SteelCityMan786
04-06-2007, 10:39 AM
I don't think I need to tell anyone how I feel about this...:thmbdown:


Hill leaders issue arena demands

Ask for $10 million for development, share of revenue, guarantee of jobs in meeting with Ravenstahl, Onorato

Friday, April 06, 2007
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hill District business leaders and clergy want $10 million in development funding, a share of arena revenue and guaranteed jobs for minorities as part of a construction surge that includes a new venue for the Penguins.

The demands were made in a proposed term sheet given to Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato at a meeting yesterday at Wesley Center African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

Around 20 neighborhood leaders spent two hours behind closed doors with Mr. Ravenstahl, Mr. Onorato, state Sen. Jim Ferlo, state Rep. Jake Wheatley and city Councilwoman Tonya Payne.

"What came out of today's meeting was an agreement to make sure there's a benefit" to the community, said Marimba Milliones, an organizer of the Greater Hill Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

"I think it was a good step in the right direction, but we still need to arrive at a firm understanding between all parties of what the relationship between our government agencies, private interests and the Hill District will be."

There was not unanimous agreement. Some of those attending the meeting said the terms didn't reflect a broad consensus.

The proposed three-page term sheet would give an unspecified group or representative of the Hill a seat at the table with the city, county, Penguins and involved developers in talks on construction of the arena and revival of the surrounding area.

As part of the development package, $10 million up front and an unspecified annual contribution for 30 years thereafter would "be directed to the Greater Hill District community's development interest." The term sheet doesn't specify who would control those funds.

An unspecified percentage of the revenue from the new arena and surrounding development would be reinvested in the Hill. The developer would also have to fund a master planning process for "the entire Greater Hill District community."

Thirty percent of all arena employees at each job level -- from unskilled laborers to supervisors, managers and executives -- would have to be "minorities of color." The 30 percent rule would also apply to construction and development jobs.

"When people are working to rebuild their community that means a lot, especially to young people," said the Rev. Johnnie Monroe, pastor of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church.

An organization picked by the community would have the right to take title to city-owned or county-owned Hill land at no cost, provided it presented a development plan.

"I think the important thing is that we came to a tangible agreement that respects the needs and agenda of the Hill District community," said Ms. Milliones, declining to discuss details.

Supporters of the terms want elected officials to use their leverage to help get the Penguins and casino developer Don Barden to agree to them.

The approach, though, didn't sit well with Ms. Payne, who said the terms were developed by a few people without the benefit of neighborhood meetings. She added that putting ambitious terms on the table without full community buy-in likely wouldn't work.

"I really believe that the Penguins want to work with this community and want to be good neighbors," she said. "But you've got to give them a chance to do good in the community, not come in and say, 'Do one, two, three, or I'll knock you out.' "

"It seemed like these groups were trying to position themselves to try to receive any kind of funds that's going to come into the area," said Pearlean Coleman, a Democratic Committee leader from the Lower Hill who attended the meeting.

Mr. Wheatley, who supported the approach, said it's important to ensure that Hill leaders get control of some of the incoming development dollars associated with the $290 million arena and a hoped-for $350 million redevelopment of parts of the Lower Hill District.

"We could have significant new dollars coming in to develop the Hill in a way that not only helps visitors, but the people who live here," he said. "Like we've always said, this is a new day for the Hill."

Talks on the terms will now move to a smaller group including two representatives of the Hill, two from the mayor's office, two from county government and someone from the Sports & Exhibition Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

"There were a lot of issues that, say, there wasn't consensus yet, but we want this [smaller] group to work them out," said Mr. Onorato.

The end product should be a written "community benefits agreement," the mayor said.

"Included in that ideally would be the specifics of community involvement," Mr. Ravenstahl said, adding that the Penguins and Mr. Barden would be invited to a future meeting. They were not represented yesterday.

Mr. Barden, in his successful application for the city's lone slot machine casino license, said he'd pay $7.5 million a year toward arena financing, and help spur $350 million in new construction nearby. His casino is slated for the North Shore.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07096/775655-53.stm

Sorry Hill District, the Penguins are getting the arena revenue, but all the stuff around it such as the new businesses and stuff, fine we'll talk there.

X-Terminator
04-10-2007, 12:26 AM
Um, how about getting people who will do the best job at the lowest possible cost? Shouldn't that matter? Everyone should have a fair and equal chance when it comes to these jobs and contracts - I have no problem with that - but nobody should be given a job simply because they are a minority or a woman.

Officials: Many deserve slice of arena pie

By Jeremy Boren
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Women and minorities deserve their share of the spoils of more than $1.3 billion worth of development planned for the Lower Hill District, Downtown and the North Shore, city and county lawmakers said Monday.

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Tonya Payne and Allegheny County Councilman William Robinson called on Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and county Chief Executive Dan Onorato to ensure women and minorities participate in four major city development projects: the $290 million arena planned for the Hill; the $170 million PNC Finance Services Group tower, Downtown; the $435 million North Shore Connector project; and the $490 million Majestic Star Casino to be built on the North Shore.

Payne said Onorato and Ravenstahl should push labor unions to hire female and minority workers and to subcontract to minority-owned businesses.

"This is public money, so we have to be fair to all of the public," Payne said. "We have to be out in front on this because if we wait until deals are made, it may be too late."

Kevin Evanto, Onorato's spokesman, said he hadn't seen the request and couldn't comment on it. But, he said, Onorato and Ravenstahl have supported diversity in local government jobs and appointments.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_501914.html

83-Steelers-43
04-10-2007, 01:47 PM
God Bless America. A piece of that 1.3 billion...lol. Unbelievable.

X-Terminator
04-11-2007, 12:24 AM
Arena to showcase city's skyline, hockey history

By Andrew Conte
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Penguins fans will know they're in Pittsburgh when they enter the team's new Uptown arena.

A multi-story glass atrium will look out on the city's skyline. And like other new stadiums throughout the National Hockey League, Pittsburgh's arena likely will have a theme unique to the city, officials said Tuesday.

"You'll have the backdrop of the wonderful view we have of the city, which is truly unique in North America for a hockey rink to see a cityscape like we can see here," Penguins CEO Kenneth Sawyer said.

Pittsburgh's arena will include a hall of fame and a "tribute" to the city's hockey tradition, Sawyer said.

"We have so much history to celebrate here," he said.

As players prepared for tonight's opening playoff game in Ottawa, Canada, team leaders and public officials met yesterday on the site to officially start the demolition process. A backhoe knocked away red bricks from a former boarding house behind Epiphany Church.

The city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority borrowed $26.5 million from the state to prepare the site between Centre and Fifth avenues for a September groundbreaking. The arena is scheduled to open in 2009.

That might seem an eternity to fans, but planners are working feverishly to get an architectural team in place and to start making key decisions about planning the building, said SEA Executive Director Mary Conturo.

The Pens are expected to work with Kansas City-based HOK Sport, which designed Heinz Field and PNC Park.

"There will be a lot of glass on the west side of the building," Conturo said. "Because of the height elevation, there will be lots of places to overlook the city."

Penguins officials -- who are seeking a meeting with Hill District leaders this week -- are looking at some of the league's newest arenas for guidance: Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., Nationwide Arena in Columbus and Jobing.com Arena in Phoenix.

The best new arenas, experts said, feature open concourses, amenities such as higher-end restaurants with rink views, open sightlines, high-definition scoreboards and interactive areas with slap-shot booths and photo booths with player cutouts.

"The fan experience is really important to most owners now," said Doug Brown, an architect with Ellerbe Becket in Kansas City who has designed arenas in Charlotte, Boston, Tampa and South Florida.

Seats in Pittsburgh's arena will be wider, with more leg room, Sawyer said. Even in the highest levels, fans will feel closer to the action, he said, because the seats will be set at a steeper pitch.

Fans at the Xcel Energy Center always walk down -- not up -- to seats, giving them a sense of getting closer to the ice, said General Manager Jack Larson. Entrances to the center are at the top of each section, and the concourses are open so fans feel they are part of the action even when stepping out for food.

The Penguins arena likely will feature the latest high-definition scoreboard with LED screens wrapping around the entire bowl. Every suite will be Internet-ready. The arena lighting will be focused on the ice, as in a theater, Sawyer said.

"There's so much change going on in the area of technology, and I'm really excited about what we can do in the building," he said. "There's a million ways to apply it."

One of the early decisions will choosing a theme for the arena, architects said.

The Xcel Energy Center, which opened in 2000 at a cost of $165 million, has a woodsy feel with natural colors, wood and stonelike materials. A lighthouse, appropriate to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, erupts when the Wild score. Hockey sweaters from the state's 140 high schools hang inside.

"It's comfortable," Larson said. "People like coming to it because it has an easy feeling."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_502110.html

83-Steelers-43
04-11-2007, 10:56 AM
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83-Steelers-43
04-11-2007, 11:36 AM
"It's important to get the stakeholders at the table, obviously the Penguins being a significant one," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "We understand that there has been, perhaps, some tension there in the past, at least on the side of the Hill District residents. So we want to start to smooth that over. . . . Hopefully that meeting will be the first step in building that relationship."

Hell, they can build the arena down the street from my place if they want. As long as I get those hand-me-outs that the politicians are planning on giving to the Hill District residents I'm all for it. So all I have to do is bitch and moan and the politicians will give me money and complete job security if they build an arena down the street from my place? Because I feel they owe me something.

I have another want. If any type of other business moves down the street from my place I want a cut from their revenue. That includes little Jimmy's lemonade stand. I want my cut. Why you ask? Because it's owed to me.

Since when does anybody owe anything to anybody? If the Penguins built the new arena down the street from my place I wouldn't come knocking on their front door with my hand out. Who the hell am I? I work for what I receive. I don't expect anything nor do I feel that I'm owed anything from anybody.

HometownGal
04-11-2007, 11:50 AM
Hell, they can build the arena down the street from my place if they want. As long as I get those hand-me-outs that the politicians are planning on giving to the Hill District residents I'm all for it. So all I have to do is bitch and moan and the politicians will give me money and complete job security if they build an arena down the street from my place? Because I feel they owe me something.

I have another want. If any type of other business moves down the street from my place I want a cut from their revenue. That includes little Jimmy's lemonade stand. I want my cut. Why you ask? Because it's owed to me.

Since when does anybody owe anything to anybody? If the Penguins built the new arena down the street from my place I wouldn't come knocking on their front door with my hand out. Who the hell am I? I work for what I receive. I don't expect anything nor do I feel that I'm owed anything from anybody.

http://blogs.smh.com.au/mashup/images/applause.gif

X-Terminator
04-11-2007, 12:02 PM
I ride past the new arena site every day on the way home from work - the building they have started to demolish is already halfway gone. It'll be great to see it all come together, and I can't wait until it's done - it's going to be an awesome building judging from the preliminary plans being discussed.

As for the "demands" made by the Hill District "leaders" - they can go piss up a rope as far as I'm concerned. They have no right to demand anything of anyone, and the Penguins do not and should not have to give in to them. The fact that the arena is being built in their neighborhood and will bring people, jobs and money into the neighborhood ON ITS OWN should be good enough. This entitlement mentality that they and so many others like them have is sickening. Like my Mom always told me from the time I was able to understand - NO ONE owes you a damn thing. They all should take that piece of advice to heart.

Jeremy
04-11-2007, 12:12 PM
I've been to the arena in Phoenix. It's an awful lot of arena for an area that already has multiple indoor venues (US Airways Center, Arizona Vets Coliseum, etc). Plus the Coyotes almost never sell out the building, so it has an empty feel to it when you go to a Coyotes game.