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Old 07-30-2006, 06:37 PM   #71
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy
Under NHL bylaws concerning relocation of franchises, if there is an issue that would make a team viable in its current city -- such as a new arena -- and there is an ongoing plan to rectify that issue, the league likely will block a move.

Translation: Kansas City shouldn't hold their breath.
AMEN. I'm feeling a lot better now about our Pens staying in the Burgh.
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:35 PM   #72
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

Bottomline.......if we get an arena, the team stays here. If we don't, say hello to the Kansas City Penguins.

Unless you have faith in Plan B going through.
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:27 PM   #73
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

Considering that Fat Eddie Rendell is doing everything he can to make sure that Isle of Capri DOESN'T win the license and help out his casino/mob buddies, we'd better have faith in Plan B going through. Because ultimately, that's all we're going to have. At least Onorato and Co. are willing to negotiate aspects of Plan B; the question remains if Fingold is just as willing. The jury is still very much in doubt on that.
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:31 PM   #74
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Terminator
Considering that Fat Eddie Rendell is doing everything he can to make sure that Isle of Capri DOESN'T win the license and help out his casino/mob buddies, we'd better have faith in Plan B going through.
Mob buddies tend to exist in both parties....lol. Just ask O'Connor, but I won't go any further into that...lol.

For what it's worth. The owner of Station Square "donated" $100,000 dollars to Rendell during his campaign. The owner of Station Square wants a gambling license. You do the math.
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:13 PM   #75
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

$290M in funding tight, but doable, for arena
Monday, July 31, 2006

By Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



A $290 million investment is about the minimum needed to get Pittsburgh a quality National Hockey League arena if construction starts soon, say developers of such facilities, but overall costs connected to it also could end up well above $300 million.

Pittsburgh Penguins officials since Christmas have trumpeted their agreement with Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. through which the gambling operator would provide $290 million up-front for an arena -- if it wins Pittsburgh's one slots license. The team has not provided specifics, however, about just what the $290 million would cover and what features the new facility would include.

Gov. Ed Rendell has offered a $315 million Plan B that accepts the $290 million estimate for construction-related costs and includes additional funds for long-term financing expenses, which the Penguins say can be avoided if Isle of Capri wins the license and writes out a check for the arena.

Under either scenario, the Rendell administration has committed to have the state cover $26.5 million in additional real estate acquisition and site preparation costs for the new Uptown arena. Either funding scenario also could face higher-than-expected inflation or other unanticipated costs.

Several analysts uninvolved in the Pittsburgh discussions view $290 million as a fair starting point for construction-related costs, if the arena is not intended to be among the league's largest, and if it doesn't necessarily include the most luxurious amenities.

"I think that could be achievable," said Michael Fratianni, executive vice president of Hunt Construction Group, a leading sports arena construction firm nationally.

"I would say that in Pittsburgh, you could be all in for anywhere from $275 million to $300 million," said Mr. Fratianni, who managed the construction of Heinz Field, which cost $281 million. "What it would take with that dollar amount is the right people -- the architect, owner and construction manager sitting down and working through a program that can reflect that cost."

If questions arise about sufficient funding, it could factor into such decisions as whether to include a gourmet restaurant or provide premium-seat buyers their own separate viewing level and entrance, according to those familiar with new arenas.

"Everything affects cost, right down to the dessert carts that visit each suite every game," said Michael Roth, vice president of communications for AEG, which will manage the new, $276 million Sprint Center in Kansas City. "The escalators, the elevators, every amenity of fan convenience adds to the cost."

Brian Parker, project manager for Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, a consulting firm, said minimum cost for an NHL facility would be "at least $250 million, and that's probably a smaller building with smaller square footage and not all of the amenities. ... That's if construction started today, opening three years from now."

Mr. Parker's firm recently advised the Connecticut Development Authority, which has mulled construction of a new arena in Hartford but has no specific plans, that it should assume costs would be in the $300 million to $400 million range, rather than the $250 million to $270 million it was seeking.

He and others said project estimates are affected by start dates and, in the case of population centers between Washington, D.C., and Boston, higher costs for labor, materials and property. Pittsburgh costs would be more in line with national averages.

The only NHL arena currently under construction, to open in 2007 in Newark for the New Jersey Devils, carries a price tag of $310 million. It will contain 18,000 seats, 78 luxury suites, 150 food and retail areas, a gourmet restaurant, 750 television monitors and 12 escalators.

Any future metropolitan Downtown arena could cost at least $300 million, said Jon Niemuth, design principal in the Ellerbe Becket architectural firm, based on Kansas City's 18,500-seat Sprint Center, which is also to open in fall of 2007. It has no major professional sports tenant, and Kansas City officials are hoping the arena will encourage relocation of an existing franchise, such as the Penguins, if the team's ownership is dissatisfied with local arena options.

The Penguins favored suitor, Samuel Fingold of Hartford, has indicated he plans for the team to stay in Pittsburgh.

Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan said that while the organization's officials have no specific design plan, "the $290 million figure is a result of our work with contractors who have built arenas, and the cost of arenas built in the United States in recent years."

In the loosest of terms, Penguins officials have described wanting about 1,000 more seats than the 16,940 they have for hockey; more and better luxury suites than the 53 for which corporations pay $85,000 to $105,000 annually; and wider concourses that allow for more comfortable access throughout the building and more plentiful concession stands and retail stores.

A spate of construction brought 19 new facilities into the NHL from 1993 to 1999 with many of the features deemed lacking in 45-year-old Mellon Arena. Four more have opened since 2000.

Mellon is seven years older than Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers' home and the second-oldest facility in the league. Mr. McMillan said Pittsburgh sports fans -- from top businesses to average citizens -- also compare Mellon's amenities to what they've enjoyed at PNC Park and Heinz Field since 2001.

Many around the NHL, including Penguins officials, have pointed to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., as a model for new arena development. The facility, which has sold out its 18,064 seats for every game since opening in 2000, was built using $180 million in public-private financing plus $45 million in add-ons the club ownership paid for to upgrade scoreboard, suite and electronic advertising features, among other items.

The "X" is known for its broad concourses that allow fans to see the action while in concession lines. At the same time, it has 72 luxury suites costing $75,000 to $150,000 to lease. It and other new arenas feature separate access and fine dining options for club-seat holders.

The quality and choices of seating arrangements, restaurants and technology -- among other factors -- all factor into what Mr. Neimuth, an arena architect, described as the difference between a "three-star versus a five-star arena." Many of those decisions will be affected by a team's market, he said, and the goal isn't necessarily to build the biggest possible facility.

While some arenas have gone above 20,000 in seating, which maximizes revenue for the most popular events, he said "18,000 seems like a sweet spot most buildings can fill, and if it works right, it drives up demand because more people want in."

He said an annual inflation rate of 5 to 8 percent should be built into construction estimates, based on recent industry trends.

When replacement of Mellon Arena was last under serious discussion by the Penguins and the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority in 2002, local officials estimated the project cost at between $270 million and $278 million, including the cost of land acquisition and site clearance across Centre Avenue from the existing arena.

The Penguins have committed that if the Isle of Capri plan is accepted, they will cover any cost overruns above the $290 million.

The team, the SEA and the governor's office have yet to iron out details of Plan B, such as dealing with cost overruns and operation of the new arena, because the Penguins are counting on the Isle of Capri plan, although the license decision may not come until next year.

The governor has laid out Plan B as a financial alternative relying on $7.5 million a year for 30 years from the slots licensee, $7 million a year from a state development fund covered by slots revenue, and an annual Penguins contribution that includes a $2.9 million payment and giving up $1.2 million in naming rights that would be directed toward the arena cost. Also, the Pens would be expected to pay $8.5 million up front, as team officials indicated in the past they would be willing to do.

Those contributions would fund an annual $18.6 million debt payment for 30 years on a bond issue to fund arena construction, based on the $290 million estimate. Rendell administration officials said they trust that the Penguins and Isle of Capri negotiated that amount as what was necessary to get a quality arena, as the casino company wouldn't want to donate more than was needed.

"We respect that estimate," said Kate Philips, the governor's spokeswoman. "Things can increase, depending on when you finally break ground, but that aside, we think it's a responsible estimate."

Mr. Fratianni, of Hunt Construction, said design work on an arena typically takes about eight to 10 months, and the construction itself 27 to 29 months, with some overlap possible to reduce the time. The Pens would like to be in a new arena by 2009, which he said "could be achieved, but certainly some things would have to move right off the bat."

How fast things can move is up in the air, at present, because the Penguins have been focused on only Isle of Capri's funding plan and negotiating sale of the team to a new owner, who would inherit that agreement.
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:14 PM   #76
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

Also, Paul Steigerwald stated that he heard from good sources that the Murstein group's offer was 15-20 million dollars short of Fingold's and not 5 million.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:48 AM   #77
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

More on Steigerwald's comments.........

1. As mentioned earlier, the difference between the Murstein bid and the Fingold bid was closer to $20 million than $5 million,

2. According to someone close to the sale (an investment banker, I believe), Murstein was informed by the group overseeing the sale that this sale was dependent on many factors, not just the bid price,

3. The Penguins were reportedly VERY disappointed in Murstein's inability to keep his mouth shut during the process, and...

4. Neither Cuban nor Dan Marino contributed one quarter to the Murstein bid. They were basically investors in name only.

John Steigerwald is the only sportscaster in town with any kind of a spine. He may be the only person covering this whole situation with any backbone.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:12 AM   #78
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

Quote:
Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43
More on Steigerwald's comments.........

1. As mentioned earlier, the difference between the Murstein bid and the Fingold bid was closer to $20 million than $5 million,

2. According to someone close to the sale (an investment banker, I believe), Murstein was informed by the group overseeing the sale that this sale was dependent on many factors, not just the bid price,

3. The Penguins were reportedly VERY disappointed in Murstein's inability to keep his mouth shut during the process, and...

4. Neither Cuban nor Dan Marino contributed one quarter to the Murstein bid. They were basically investors in name only.

John Steigerwald is the only sportscaster in town with any kind of a spine. He may be the only person covering this whole situation with any backbone.
1. Looks like you were right all along on that one. Murstein simply didn't have the money to make that kind of bid and was looking for a "hometown discount" from Mario and the Pens since he had vowed to keep the team here.

2. I personally would like to know what those "factors" were, besides money.

3. I don't have a problem with this - he was trying to gain local support more than anything else. Fingold hasn't exactly been quiet on the matter either and he ended up winning the bid process. Go figure.

4. I had a feeling this was true. If Cuban were really serious about buying the team, he'd have done it himself rather than get on board with someone else. Again, Murstein was trying to get a hometown discount by using their names, something that I'm actually shocked that Cuban would agree to.

Sheesh, no wonder Murstein has been unable to buy a team. This guy really IS a shady character, every bit as shady as Fingold is.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:15 AM   #79
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Default Re: Penguins Reject Cuban/Marino Group

Quote:
Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43
More on Steigerwald's comments.........

1. As mentioned earlier, the difference between the Murstein bid and the Fingold bid was closer to $20 million than $5 million,

2. According to someone close to the sale (an investment banker, I believe), Murstein was informed by the group overseeing the sale that this sale was dependent on many factors, not just the bid price,

3. The Penguins were reportedly VERY disappointed in Murstein's inability to keep his mouth shut during the process, and...

4. Neither Cuban nor Dan Marino contributed one quarter to the Murstein bid. They were basically investors in name only.

John Steigerwald is the only sportscaster in town with any kind of a spine. He may be the only person covering this whole situation with any backbone.
Agreed 83...Steigerwald can be counted on to "tell it like it is"....

As badly as everyone wants the Pens to stay here...including me....this is a business deal....and purely a business deal....20 million is alot of money....cant blame them for dismissing Murstein for falling that short...

And whats up with all the Cuban and Marino crap??....if Cuban wanted to invest...he would invest...BIG TIME...he could wipe his ass with 20 mill if he wanted too...I just dont get this whole 'lending your name" crap....put up the cash...or run the Mavericks...
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:12 AM   #80
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Default Evgeni Malkin Staying or Coming?

Yesterday's article......

Malkin's future with Penguins still clouded
Tuesday, August 01, 2006

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



An NHL-imposed deadline passed yesterday with no immediate word on a response from or action taken by the Russian hockey federation.

That leaves the status of Penguins prospect Evgeni Malkin -- who yesterday turned 20 -- uncertain.

The Russians, who declined to participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation's agreement with the NHL last season, agreed to the terms on June 9 but did not complete the paperwork.

The NHL recently set a deadline of yesterday for the deal to be finalized; otherwise Russian players not already in the NHL would not be allowed to sign with and play for NHL teams in 2006-07.

An NHL spokesman late yesterday said he did not know of any news from Russia or the IIHF, and a Penguins spokesman said the team had not heard anything.

The Penguins drafted Malkin in the first round, second overall, in the June 2004 draft. Playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League, he had 21 goals, 26 assists in 46 games. Malkin, a physical forward, also represented Russia at the world junior, Olympic and world tournaments.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero seemed upbeat last week about the prospect of Malkin being at training camp next month.

"It's really out of our hands," Shero said. "We just get the news as we get it, and until then we keep our fingers crossed.

"But let's put it this way: I'm not going out and getting a centericeman because I'm counting on having Malkin."

Malkin is under contract with Metallurg through 2008, but he has been quoted in Russian publications as saying he wants to play for the Penguins this season.

Under the transfer agreement, international teams receive a flat fee of $200,000 when they lose players to the NHL.

Officials with the Super League have expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangement. Gennady Velichkin, general director of Metallurg, even told Russian reporters that he might sue the Penguins in an attempt to get them to buy Malkin's contract for millions of dollars.

Things seemed to be settled after Hall of Fame goaltender Vladislav Tretiak took over as head of the Russian federation and coaxed Super League official to get on board with the transfer agreement. It was thought then that the Russians officially would sign on by late June.

The NHL has tried to push the Russians to get on board. Commissioner Gary Bettman has threatened to bar NHL players from the 2007 world championships, scheduled for Moscow. Then came the deadline yesterday.

If Russia officially joins the trade agreement in a time frame acceptable to the NHL, negotiating Malkin's contract should not be difficult. He would probably receive a three-year deal worth the maximum $984,200 plus bonuses under the year-old collective bargaining agreement.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06213/710156-61.stm
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