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Old 12-21-2006, 03:30 PM   #621
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

I'm with you Steel. Our only saving thing is Mario. Mario loves this city and do whatever he can to keep the team here.
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:50 PM   #622
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There is no doubt the politicians have screwed Lemieux over in the past. But before you go on TV and state all sales are off and we are looking to other cities, don't you think you should sit down with Onorato and Ravenstahl and have a talk? I mean, look at every option possible before packing the bags and making the statement Lemieux made today? If you truly want to keep this team in Pittsburgh, at least talk to these guys and listen to what they have to say or offer.

By no means am I blaming Lemieux for the license situation, but I wasn't crazy about his statements today.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:52 PM   #623
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Why is everyone mad at the governor?

-Mike
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:41 AM   #624
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Why is everyone mad at the governor?

-Mike
While many thought the fix was in with Rendell (station square), it ended up being the North Shore casino which won. So I'm not buying a fix. At the same time, Rendell did not help. He did not push for IOC or help the Penguins (or the people in Pittsburgh) cause. Maybe since Rendell is from Philly he really doesn't give a shit what people in Pittsburgh want. IMO, Rendell wants Pittsburgh to be a ghost town while his hometown Philly flourishes.

I'm more disappointed in Onorato and Ravenstahl, but I don't trust Rendell anymore than I do those two.
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:18 AM   #625
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post
There is no doubt the politicians have screwed Lemieux over in the past. But before you go on TV and state all sales are off and we are looking to other cities, don't you think you should sit down with Onorato and Ravenstahl and have a talk? I mean, look at every option possible before packing the bags and making the statement Lemieux made today? If you truly want to keep this team in Pittsburgh, at least talk to these guys and listen to what they have to say or offer.

By no means am I blaming Lemieux for the license situation, but I wasn't crazy about his statements today.



He just did it to turn up the Pressure and get something done as quickly as possible.

I DO think he's flustered and has had enough of it all.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:22 AM   #626
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post
While many thought the fix was in with Rendell (station square), it ended up being the North Shore casino which won. So I'm not buying a fix. At the same time, Rendell did not help. He did not push for IOC or help the Penguins (or the people in Pittsburgh) cause. Maybe since Rendell is from Philly he really doesn't give a shit what people in Pittsburgh want. IMO, Rendell wants Pittsburgh to be a ghost town while his hometown Philly flourishes.

I'm more disappointed in Onorato and Ravenstahl, but I don't trust Rendell anymore than I do those two.
I never trusted Rendell. This state has been in worse shape then when Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker left the office of governor and our state fine.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:41 AM   #627
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Smizik: Efforts should go into a fair Plan B
Friday, December 22, 2006

By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Let me see if I have this right: After their entry fails to win the slots license, the Penguins and the NHL, a league that is threatening to disappear from the major sports scene, are not so subtly threatening to relocate a franchise that after finishing in last place for four consecutive seasons and while facing one of the worst teams in the league on a Tuesday night in December draws a packed house of more than 17,000 in a decrepit facility?

The threat rings just about as true as "the fix is in," which was the pathetically desperate and oft-repeated attempt by the MFOM (Media Friends of Mario) to discredit the entire slots licensing process.

It didn't work. Their shameless attempt to smear politicians that were in no way connected with the process also didn't work.

The fix was not in. The least politically connected of the three applicants for the license turned out to be the winner.

Coming out on top was outsider Don Barden of Detroit, who neither had the political connections of the Forest City group -- who the liars said would be the recipient of the fix -- or of the Isle of Capri, which had the backing of the Penguins, their legendary and universally admired owner Mario Lemieux and who were fronted by a superb lobbyist, the very politically connected David Morehouse.

Barden won because of old-fashioned values, not because of 21st century smear tactics. He won because he had the best plan in the best location. Yes, better than the Isle of Capri's plan, which promised $290 million toward a badly needed new arena.

At a news conference Monday, which was viewed as a final attempt to sway the Gaming Control Board, the seven-person panel that awarded the license, Lemieux wondered aloud how it would be possible to turn down $290 million of private money for a public building.

The answer came Wednesday when it was acknowledged that the board's own consultants determined that Barden's plan would produce the most revenue for the state. That's a point that never sunk in with many, mostly because the Isle of Capri and MFOM tried to make this about what was best for the Penguins. In the end, truth won. It wasn't what was best for the Penguins, it is what's best for the state and the region.

Barden's North Shore plan clearly was the best location, away from neighborhoods, with plenty of room to build and nearby access to many major highways. The design was superb and the plan, according to the board, the best. Not even the out-of-character whining from the Pirates and Steelers can alter those facts.

With the slots license determined, all efforts must be put forward to develop a Plan B that will be fair to the Penguins and keep them here. That's the job of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato. Gov. Ed Rendell, who was relentlessly trashed by MFOM, also will help. The treatment of Rendell by MFOM has been beyond reason. He was crucified for remaining impartial in the licensing process, although by the very nature of his position -- he appointed three of the board members -- he had to be neutral. It was typical of the smear tactics of Isle of Capri supporters.

Plan B took on new urgency yesterday when Lemieux, in a written statement, said, "... starting today, the team is off the market and we will begin to explore relocation options in cities outside Pennsylvania." He also said in the immediate future the team would "begin discussions with local leaders about a viable Pittsburgh arena plan."

It certainly is within Lemieux's right to consider all options. When he took over the team in 1999, rescuing it from bankruptcy, he never expected to be connected with it this long. He wants his money and he wants to get out. He deserves both of his wishes.

Under the current Plan B, the licensing winner puts up $7.5 million for 30 years, another $7 million comes out of the state's slots fund annually and the Penguins are expected to contribute $4 million a year after an upfront contribution of $8.5 million.

The Penguins' portion is negotiable and will be even more so with the leverage Lemieux has. The Penguins should be expected to put up about as much for the arena as the Pirates did for PNC Park, which was about 18 percent. If Lemieux can whittle that lower, more power to him.

Although relocation of the franchise is not likely, nor is it out of the question, attempting to drive too hard of a deal with Penguins ownership on Plan B could force the team out of town.

A primary option is believed to be Kansas City, which has a new arena and is awaiting a tenant. Kansas City also has something else. It is the only city in America that has had and lost teams in the NHL, NBA and MLB. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should think long and hard before he gives a city with such a track record a franchise and even longer and harder before he considers moving the Penguins, where ardent support is proven.

The ugly process of awarding the slots license is behind us. There needs to be a unity of effort by all parties to deliver a fair Plan B to the Penguins and keep the franchise where it belongs.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06356/748229-194.stm
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Old 12-22-2006, 02:24 PM   #628
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Onorato says arena is top priority
Friday, December 22, 2006

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato today said that reaching an agreement with the Penguins on a new arena was his top priority and he hoped to be able to achieve it in six to eight weeks.

The heat on the issue was turned up this week when the state gaming panel selected developer Don Barden for the city's only casino license. The Penguins had favored a plan by Isle of Capri, which had pledged $290 million toward an arena if it got the license.

The Penguins yesterday said they were now willing to entertain invitations to move the team to another city.

Mr. Onorato's comments followed a conversation he and Pittburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl had today with Mr. Barden.

Mr. Barden reiterated his support for "Plan B," the alternative funding plan for the arena using proceeds from casinos. Under the plan, the developer is to provide $7.5 million a year for an arena. Mr. Onorato said Mr. Barden was not asked to provide more and did not voltunteer to.

With various funding commitments already in place, Mr. Onorato said $230 million toward an arena is already secured. He said that was not too far from the $290 million pledged from Isle of Capri.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06356/748320-100.stm
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:21 PM   #629
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Let's see him get the job done

FSN made mention that Balsillie has interests of buying the team again.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:46 AM   #630
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Onorato: Penguins giving cold shoulder

By Andrew Conte
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, December 23, 2006


Despite coming up with $230 million for a new arena, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said Friday he can't get the Penguins to return his phone calls.

Onorato said he has "no choice" but to assume the team will negotiate with local leaders in good faith over an Uptown arena. The Penguins have said they plan to shop the franchise to other cities.

"It's a crazy world when it comes to professional sports franchises, because other cities are willing to make the deal," Onorato said.

Separately, county Prothonotary Michael Lamb has floated the idea of locating the new arena on the North Shore -- rather than Uptown, as planned. The arena could be part of the planned Majestic Star Casino, west of the Carnegie Science Center, he said.

"As the North Shore has developed into an entertainment destination, it only makes sense to include in that venue a new multi-purpose facility," Lamb wrote in a letter to Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

The city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority has purchased Uptown properties for the arena and is not looking at other sites, executive director Mary Conturo said Thursday.

Detroit businessman Don Barden, who won the license for the North Shore casino this week, spoke with Onorato and Ravenstahl by phone for 25 minutes yesterday. He reiterated a commitment to pay $7.5 million a year for 30 years toward an arena, Onorato said.

"That's an excellent down payment on an arena and a great place to start," said Bob Oltmanns, Barden's spokesman. "As far as we're concerned, Plan B is now Plan A."

Barden, who will own the proposed Majestic Star Casino, west of the Carnegie Science Center, is not willing to sweeten his offer, Oltmanns said.

The Penguins had hoped to get a free arena by partnering with Isle of Capri Casinos, which offered to pay $290 million if it won the slots license. Onorato said he and Ravenstahl left a message Wednesday with the team concerning arena negotiations.

Team officials plan to talk with local leaders about an arena, but are going to look at other cities, said spokesman David Morehouse.

"We're going to step back, take a deep breath and look at everything that's going on," he said.

Besides Barden's money, the state would contribute $7 million a year from its gambling proceeds. The team would have to pay $8.5 million up front and $2.9 million a year, while forgoing $1.1 million a year in naming rights.

The annual payments from Barden and the state would allow the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority to borrow $230 million, Onorato said.

Working out a deal to build an arena and keep the team in Pittsburgh is the "No. 1 priority," Onorato said, adding that local leaders hope to meet with the Penguins the first week in January.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_485523.html
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