Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Penguins staying put

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.
Interesting timing on this one, given the news leaked out late, late Monday night/Tuesday morning (it's a good thing I wasn't on the sports desk tonight, as this kind of post-deadline mayhem usually involves two bottles — one of aspirin and another of rye).

I can't say that I'm particularly surprised, as all along I found it incredibly hard to fathom a team with this much hockey talent, in a market with a recent history of championships and some star power in its ownership group would ever really leave.

I understand why the posturing was necessary, and hopefully Mario Lemieux had fun out in Las Vegas on his visit(s), but hopefully this business can finally put to rest the Kansas City Penguins speculation we've been hearing the past few years.

But don't worry about flocking to see Pittsburgh during the Igloo's final days; the archaic Mellon Arena will be going strong for another two seasons.



At 12:25 p.m., March 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, how are they financing this thing? Is it a straight fleecing of taxpayers, or are they going to victimize compulsive gamblers via casino money instead? Yes, such a proud day for the Penguin franchise!

At 10:36 p.m., March 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Financing plan for the new arena :

The Penguins’ contribution to the project will be an annual payment of $3.8 million, plus $400,000 a year for capital expenses at the new facility.

Other elements in the funding plan include $7.5 million annually from Don Barden of PITG Gaming and $7.5 million annually from the State Gaming Tourism and Economic Development Fund.

The Penguins will receive all revenue from the new arena and are responsible for paying all operating costs.

Where yes, the new arena would not have bee possible if it weren't for the slots, the Pens are paying in to it and it is using $0.00 tax dollars.

At 10:59 a.m., March 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$7.5 million annually from the State Gaming Tourism and Economic Development Fund

From where do you think this Fund draws its money? From taxes. I'm not sure of how Pennsylvania works it, but I'll be willing to wager a nickel that it comes from one of those lovely hotel/rental car taxes with which you get whacked every time you visit an American city.

At 11:09 p.m., March 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those taxes have nothing to do with how the state runs things. Property taxes - so much of the property tax is set aside, I believe 5% and put into a fund for the economic development of the state. These funds are distributed by the Governor of PA, and he has assigned 7.5 of the 90 million to go towards a new arena. So, in reality some of PA tax money is paying for the arena, along with revenues from the gaming now in the state. For a complete explanation you can look on the Pittsburgh Penguins' website and view the press conference, under Governor Ed Rendell.

You sound concerned over how PA is spending our tax dollars. How have other venues been built? Keep in mind the Mellon Arena, and the new arena are not just used for Pro Hockey games, there are concerts, ice shows, monster truck rallies, wrestling events and etc held there. The arena is is bad shape, it would need replaced in 3-5yrs anyway. So, without the HELP of the Pens' paying on it where do you think the funds would come? Now we get the arena and keep the Pens. Can't beat that.


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