pessimism in the Pens' front office

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Postby td_ice on Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:57 pm

RedLightDistrict wrote: I mean who is to say in 2007 that the Forest City plan isn't the best long term? I mean the IoC/Pens deal looks the best to us by far. But can we PROVE that it will have a better long term impact on the area? Not really. We aren't fortune tellers.



Well you can take an educated guess. Look at the numbers ALONE in having a professional sports team leave the city. Look at the numbers in all the tax money that the team brings in. Whether it is amusement tax on the ticket to the tax on visiting players playing here, and any of the others taxes the area makes from having a team.

That is very tangible.

So is using $290 million to build a facility with tax payer money. Because an arena will be built here eventually.

(And who is to say that if it is built 5 or 10 years from now, that cost is not substanially higher. It may cost $350-400 million down the line. The price sure is not going to go down.)

All of those thing weigh HEAVILY in the IOC favor.

No, none of the above is 100% proof, that it will be better. But imo, it is not far from that. Look at the numbers and community re-investments.

If someone can show a good argument why the Station Square proposal is better, I would love to hear it.
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Postby RedLightDistrict on Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:48 pm

I agree with you completely. But the fact is you can't PROVE it. That's all Rendell and his boys need to say with everyone alleging malfeasance.

People here act like there should be a criminal investigation. I'm just saying that it's not ILLEGAL.

I despise Rendell. I despise Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and PA politics. But is it ILLEGAL? No.

That's all I'm saying.
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:02 pm

I think you may be missing a HUGE point here.

Slots and the revenue it generates is a state-wide issue, not a local one. Therefore, IOC's promise to build a new arena is great in Pittsburgh, but means nothing throughout the rest of the state. Would you care if a slots license were tied to an arena in Philly or a minor league ballpark in Wilkes Barre?

The issue is to maximize revenue on a statewide basis. If Forest City or the other bidder makes a better case for doing that, they can legitimately be awarded the western PA license, fix or no fix. That bid would better fulfill the mission of the whole slots proposal, which is to raise money for the STATE.

The Penguins are failing their fans by not even considering a back-up plan, much less formulating one.
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Postby td_ice on Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:34 pm

Marshall Dylan wrote:I think you may be missing a HUGE point here.

Slots and the revenue it generates is a state-wide issue, not a local one. Therefore, IOC's promise to build a new arena is great in Pittsburgh, but means nothing throughout the rest of the state. Would you care if a slots license were tied to an arena in Philly or a minor league ballpark in Wilkes Barre?

The issue is to maximize revenue on a statewide basis. If Forest City or the other bidder makes a better case for doing that, they can legitimately be awarded the western PA license, fix or no fix. That bid would better fulfill the mission of the whole slots proposal, which is to raise money for the STATE.

The Penguins are failing their fans by not even considering a back-up plan, much less formulating one.


No, no, no.

I think you are missing a huge point. It is not only a state issue, BUT MAILNLY HELP THE AREA THAT THE LICENSE IS AWARDED. The whole gambling bill helps the state in that there will be many throughout the state.

Why is a big portion of the decision going to be based on the community portion to the area? Why do the politicians say that they will do what is best for the region? This whole thing was suppposed to be about property tax reform. So much for that.

The Penguins are on PLAN E. F. G, you name it. This whole slots idea WAS NOT THE PENGUINS idea. It was Rendell's.

Now they are partnered with IOC for a slots license that IOC hopes to win. That is the main leverage that IOC has. And the PENGUINS ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE BACKUP PLANS?? The IOC is going to buiild the city a 300 million dollar arena, as part of their plan, if the Pen's have "backup plan" it will kill any leverage the IOC plan has.

It is a little late for backup plans. This IS THE BACKUP PLAN. That talk is Rendell flip flopping. And the Pen's have a PLAN, and they are supposed to come up with another? Like what? The city and state have thwarted all their plans.

THE ONLY REASON THE PEN'S ARE IN THE SLOTS GAMBIT IS BECAUSE ALL THEIR OTHER PLANS THEY FORMULATED HAVE BEEN DENIED. AND THEY WERE TOLD THIS "is your best shot". That is what Rendell told them.

Another plan? Good lord, some people are buying that Rendell rhetoric.
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:52 pm

More people are buying the Ken Sawyer rhetoric.

They've known for at least five years that the arena was an issue. The only other plans they had were to take public money, a la the Pirates and Steelers. Those were "thwarted" when they were told there was no money.

They should have had alternatives in mind all along instead of trying to dream one up now. In five years, they couldn't raise a dime from private investment that wasn't tied to a gaming license?

Repeat: This is about raising money statewide for things like property tax reform, which would benefit people who will never visit an arena. The "local" component of this is supposed to come from taxes that are collected from slots and the secondary revenue from things like parking and restaurants, as well as the jobs that are created. Slots was never meant to be tied to big projects like an arena.

If the Penguins knew this was the way they were going to cast their lot, they should have hired the most effective lobbyists to make sure it went through. If it's true that $170K and a promise of a job will win the license (and I don't believe that) then why didn't the Pens/IOC come up with $200K and the promise of a job?

If you're going to play the political game, play to win. Don't stand by and cry that you got hosed.

The Penguins have badly misplayed their hand in this whole process.
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Postby Hockeynut! on Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:06 am

It really seems like you're making this up as you go along. There are several licenses being given out. Places like Seven Springs and Nemacolin are trying to get licenses and neither have any type of "community giveback" which is supposedly (in your words), going to help the state. The state will be making the vast majority their money off of the taxes. That's been the plan all the way along. Can you show me any proposal that "benefits the state" in ways other than taxes? I don't think so because there aren't any.
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Postby td_ice on Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:13 am

Marshall Dylan wrote:More people are buying the Ken Sawyer rhetoric.

They've known for at least five years that the arena was an issue. The only other plans they had were to take public money, a la the Pirates and Steelers. Those were "thwarted" when they were told there was no money.

They should have had alternatives in mind all along instead of trying to dream one up now. In five years, they couldn't raise a dime from private investment that wasn't tied to a gaming license?

Repeat: This is about raising money statewide for things like property tax reform, which would benefit people who will never visit an arena. The "local" component of this is supposed to come from taxes that are collected from slots and the secondary revenue from things like parking and restaurants, as well as the jobs that are created. Slots was never meant to be tied to big projects like an arena.

If the Penguins knew this was the way they were going to cast their lot, they should have hired the most effective lobbyists to make sure it went through. If it's true that $170K and a promise of a job will win the license (and I don't believe that) then why didn't the Pens/IOC come up with $200K and the promise of a job?

If you're going to play the political game, play to win. Don't stand by and cry that you got hosed.

The Penguins have badly misplayed their hand in this whole process.

The Penguins have always been opened to private funding. They welcome it. You think that they would not love to go that route. Unfortunately in a small market, that is not always possible. And it certainly has not been here.

The fact that they have been for sale, before the season and now, is plenty of notice to any that wants to invest in the team, private money, to come on board.

I repeat, you can say "state issue" all you want, it is about the local benefits to this area, as the proposals in Philly will be based on Philly. That is why they have a slots task forces in Philly. And so forth in all the areas of the state that are up for a license. Yeah, of course it will have state wide benefit. But because that is the case, does not mean, "this is a state wide program". It is clearly a regional process first and foremost. That has been evidently clear. If not, why are all the politicians not claiming they will take the proposal that will be "BEST FOR THE STATE AS WHOLE." I have yet to hear that.

The Pen's have NOT BADLY MISPLAYED THIS. They are doing their due dillegence. If you want to say they will be outbribed, then perhaps so.

It is not just about $170k. It is about keeping campaign promises. If other contributors see Rendell keep his, it will keep money coming in. If he spurns his benefactors, that could kill his campaign fund raising.

What plan should the Pen's have had?? Private financing?? If they had it, there would not be an issue, and the team would not have been in bankruptcy, would not have been for sale in the offseaon or now. If it all comes down to private financing, that is saying that the Pen's have that ability and simply do want to use it. That maybe be true with the Rooneys and the Steelers, but I do not believe that is the case here.

So what plan should the Pen's be formulating???
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:37 am

All the Pens have been doing is covering their butts in case the day comes when the team leaves.

Plan A -- Get public money. Not possible.

Plan B -- Get slots license. Looking shaky.

Plan C -- Sell team to someone who will move it. Shrug shoulders and say, "Guess Pittsburgh didn't want a hockey team."

Is that any less destructive to the cause than anything that might be done politically?

The investment group that owns the team now includes a billionaire, but private financing is not an option?

If you're sincere about wanting to make this work, you bust your butt to develop alternatives that you can take to the pols and AT MINIMUM, say, "We can raise $150 million...can you meet us halfway?"

Never happened. From the start, this has been about getting a building that someone else pays for.

The only thing they've done well is convince a small group of rabid fans that none of this is their fault.
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Postby td_ice on Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:15 am

Marshall Dylan wrote:All the Pens have been doing is covering their butts in case the day comes when the team leaves.

Plan A -- Get public money. Not possible.

Plan B -- Get slots license. Looking shaky.

Plan C -- Sell team to someone who will move it. Shrug shoulders and say, "Guess Pittsburgh didn't want a hockey team."

Is that any less destructive to the cause than anything that might be done politically?

The investment group that owns the team now includes a billionaire, but private financing is not an option?

If you're sincere about wanting to make this work, you bust your butt to develop alternatives that you can take to the pols and AT MINIMUM, say, "We can raise $150 million...can you meet us halfway?"

Never happened. From the start, this has been about getting a building that someone else pays for.

The only thing they've done well is convince a small group of rabid fans that none of this is their fault.


Complete bull.

If the Pen's are really wanting to leave and simply have an excuse laden plan, why did they do their best to have a partnership with a company that would put such a blockbuster plan together?

They could have a weak plan, said "we did what the Govenor said, tried the slots it didn't work." Oh well.

You dismiss PLAN B, getting the license, as "looking shaky" 1) How is that their fault? 2) looking shaky assumes that they don't have the inside track Why pretell is that?

Plan C as "give up"?? Laughable. Why are they even bother going to all this if they really wanted to move. They could have done so at many points during the 7 years Mario has owned the team. They could have moved way before the slots process, but no they choose to get involved, at the request of the Govenor.

The Pen's primary owners don't have $150 million. Maybe an investor in the group does, but the primary owners do not. Is that the PLAN you have, the Pen's need $150 million, If so, I guess they leave.

The Pen's come up with a plan that has no tax payer money, and you dismiss it out of hand? Why?

You act like the Penguins have had no effort into this because of the PLAN that they HAVE PUT A LOT OF EFFORT AND MONEY INTO, you don't like. Beautiful.

"the only thing they have done is convince a small group of rabid fans"

Nice, so you have decided that the Pen's support is small, and rabid to boot? Is that why 18 local politicians, and many of media have supported the IOC/Pen's plan??

The Pen's have a tremendous plan, you don't like it, so somehow, they have pulled a "con job" on the public , but no you see through it??? LOL, YEAH THAT IS IT!!
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:19 am

If the Pen's are really wanting to leave and simply have an excuse laden plan, why did they do their best to have a partnership with a company that would put such a blockbuster plan together?"


Never said they WANT to leave. Said that's the one and only backup plan. If they get the license, they profit. If not, they sell to someone who moves the franchise and they also profit.



You dismiss PLAN B, getting the license, as "looking shaky" 1) How is that their fault? 2) looking shaky assumes that they don't have the inside track Why pretell is that?


Because they didn't do the things necessary to present the deal that would be accepted. They knew it was political because they went out and hired political consultants. Now they're in danger of losing the race because the people they hired played the game badly.

Plan C as "give up"?? Laughable. Why are they even bother going to all this if they really wanted to move. They could have done so at many points during the 7 years Mario has owned the team. They could have moved way before the slots process...


You're forgetting they have a lease that runs through 2007...and the Lemieux Group was NEVER going to move the team. They're willing to sell it someone who will move.

The Pen's primary owners don't have $150 million. Maybe an investor in the group does, but the primary owners do not.


You don't need $150 million. You need to be able to raise $150 million. You partner with other corporations. You use Lemieux's goodwill in the community to get people on board. You call on Ron Burkle's connections. If, as promised, a new arena will bring in all kinds of business, it should be a profitable operation. The fact is the Pens have not done ONE thing to seek any private investment at all.

Nice, so you have decided that the Pen's support is small, and rabid to boot? Is that why 18 local politicians, and many of media have supported the IOC/Pen's plan??


The most rabid support comes from a few hundred people who post on this board, the same ones who will show up at the rally. It's a small group. It is not a groundswell. As far as the 18 politicians, look who they are. Jim Motznik? He doesn't have enough influence to get a parking ticket fixed. Pittsburgh Council, Allegheny Council have NO influence on a state decision. It's all a PR grab for them. Media support? What is that, Madden calling the governor names on a radio show that has a small audience? Sorry, that doesn't get things done. You need to look at the big picture.
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Re: Since it seems that the Pens' proposal is

Postby NIN on Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:40 am

ville5 wrote:the most beneficial to the City, State and local economy, this needs to be brought to the forefront. What effect would it have if someone independent of the Pens, enlisted the services of 1 or more nationally recognized economists? Have in depth study of the effects of each proprosal on the economies of the area. And make these studies public. :?:


That's the way the Penguins should go. Keeping the heat omn Randell while showing wht the Pens plan is better now and into the future as far as economics and quality of life goes, is a great compliment to that. Lets hope they do that, and im talking billboards, commercials, etc. Turn it into a big extravaganza! Sword swallowers never hurt either, make it a circus theme.
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Postby td_ice on Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:53 am

Marshall Dylan wrote:
If the Pen's are really wanting to leave and simply have an excuse laden plan, why did they do their best to have a partnership with a company that would put such a blockbuster plan together?"


Never said they WANT to leave. Said that's the one and only backup plan. If they get the license, they profit. If not, they sell to someone who moves the franchise and they also profit.



You dismiss PLAN B, getting the license, as "looking shaky" 1) How is that their fault? 2) looking shaky assumes that they don't have the inside track Why pretell is that?


Because they didn't do the things necessary to present the deal that would be accepted. They knew it was political because they went out and hired political consultants. Now they're in danger of losing the race because the people they hired played the game badly.

Plan C as "give up"?? Laughable. Why are they even bother going to all this if they really wanted to move. They could have done so at many points during the 7 years Mario has owned the team. They could have moved way before the slots process...


You're forgetting they have a lease that runs through 2007...and the Lemieux Group was NEVER going to move the team. They're willing to sell it someone who will move.

The Pen's primary owners don't have $150 million. Maybe an investor in the group does, but the primary owners do not.


You don't need $150 million. You need to be able to raise $150 million. You partner with other corporations. You use Lemieux's goodwill in the community to get people on board. You call on Ron Burkle's connections. If, as promised, a new arena will bring in all kinds of business, it should be a profitable operation. The fact is the Pens have not done ONE thing to seek any private investment at all.

Nice, so you have decided that the Pen's support is small, and rabid to boot? Is that why 18 local politicians, and many of media have supported the IOC/Pen's plan??


The most rabid support comes from a few hundred people who post on this board, the same ones who will show up at the rally. It's a small group. It is not a groundswell. As far as the 18 politicians, look who they are. Jim Motznik? He doesn't have enough influence to get a parking ticket fixed. Pittsburgh Council, Allegheny Council have NO influence on a state decision. It's all a PR grab for them. Media support? What is that, Madden calling the governor names on a radio show that has a small audience? Sorry, that doesn't get things done. You need to look at the big picture.


Wow, just Madden and a bunch of posters here. That is a small group.

Not true.

Stan Savran, Bob Pompeani, John Steigerwald, Bob Grove, all have voiced their support and have spoken at various times about. The PG ran an editoral in support of the Pen's plan. There is much support out there. If you are not aware of it, does not mean it doesn't exist.

Just because the Pen's are lacking the most critcal support you say it because they have not done what is necessary. Well, I say they have done what is necessary, maybe they have failed to grease the wheels by political contributions, but isn't that the problem? That is where the outrage comes from, that the fix may be in.

Which is it? You go back and forth from the Pen's did not do it right, to the Pen's should have "played the game" better? You mean outbribe?

If the Pen's needed $150 million, the number you supply, you act like that would have done it. They don't have that money. Burkle may have it, but he doesn't own the team, he is an investor. If it was on him, he would have simply bought the team.


"The Pen's have not done one thing to raise private investment..."
So because they didn't have a pre slots plan announced that has private investment, they did not try???? How do you know that?? Big assumption. It must have been there huh?

Their slots proposal, which is stunning, IS PRIVATE INVESTMENT, no matter how many times you dismiss, or not matter the fact that it can be turned down by a gaming board. That is the only way they found someone willing to partner, that is with the slots leverage.

So the 18 politicians don't count?? The fact they are not as powerful as the Govenor, does not speak on the weakness of the Pen's plan, but more on the fact the process might be corrupt. But I guess that is how the "game" is played.

The have a lease?? True, they have that promise to stay on their end. Which they are honoring, what about the promise made to them on the politicians end at the time of bankruptcy, promsing them funding?? So much for promises I guess. A lease? They could have gotten out of a lease. If the "powerful" people are not behind the Pen's plan now, you think they would have cared about them staying, and trying to get out of a lease. Which is it, they want them here or not?

You say they didn't do what is necessary, the Govenor and the local "Onorato and BOBO", politicians have lied to the Pen's and paid lip service, and the Pen's have not done what is necessary??? OH YEAH, IT IS THEIR FAULT.

Their proposal is out there. It is a tremendous one. If it is not chosen, it will because the powers that be have no use for them. How is that their fault?

If the bottom line to you is that the Pen's simply do not have enough financial muscle to build it on their own, whether through ownership dollars, or political clout, if you want to call that "their fault", yeah, then they are to blame.
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Postby td_ice on Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:23 am

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Postby bill from turtle creek on Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:32 am

It's great that the editorial board of the PG, the voicebox of the local Democratic party, puts this message out. It'll be amusing to see how OConnor and Onorato spin this one.
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Postby Sleestak on Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:18 am

It will be a pretty hard spin when you can even go back through the postgazette archives and see all the times Lemieux brought the issue of a new building up. Were there not promises made on record dating all the way back to 1999?

We have to be loud, informative and respectful about this. Make every person that doesn't know, know. As soon as possible.
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Postby bill from turtle creek on Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:45 am

The problem is, the promises were made by guys no longer in office (Roddey and Murphy).
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Postby passmaster16 on Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:28 am

The most rabid support comes from a few hundred people who post on this board, the same ones who will show up at the rally. It's a small group. It is not a groundswell. As far as the 18 politicians, look who they are. Jim Motznik? He doesn't have enough influence to get a parking ticket fixed. Pittsburgh Council, Allegheny Council have NO influence on a state decision. It's all a PR grab for them. Media support? What is that, Madden calling the governor names on a radio show that has a small audience? Sorry, that doesn't get things done. You need to look at the big picture.


What is so difficult to understand here? The Penguins can get a new arena fully paid for via a license that is going to be awarded. The time for other funding is behind us. Whether Lemiuex did right or wrong is irrelevent. Its nice to talk hypothetically about how money could have been raised privately, but that is what it is, just talk. This is Pittsburgh not some huge city with plenty of corporations that want to dump cash into a sports franchise. I believe the Penguins have the best proposal, not only by what their plan gives back, but just the location alone is enough to put it ahead of the other two competing plans. Anybody who feels that a casino on carson street is a good idea must not travel that route very often.

There is an opportunity with the license to solve the problem. As far as support, if people around here knew the Penguins plan is not using public money, I would venture to say that the opinion would change. Many people are still arguing that they don't want public money being spent meanwhile the IoC plan is not public money. If I was IoC, I would have a big PR campaign to get this out in the community so that the people would understand what is at stake here.
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Postby dboss on Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:34 am

Marshall Dylan wrote:
If the Pen's are really wanting to leave and simply have an excuse laden plan, why did they do their best to have a partnership with a company that would put such a blockbuster plan together?"


Never said they WANT to leave. Said that's the one and only backup plan. If they get the license, they profit. If not, they sell to someone who moves the franchise and they also profit.



You dismiss PLAN B, getting the license, as "looking shaky" 1) How is that their fault? 2) looking shaky assumes that they don't have the inside track Why pretell is that?


Because they didn't do the things necessary to present the deal that would be accepted. They knew it was political because they went out and hired political consultants. Now they're in danger of losing the race because the people they hired played the game badly.

Plan C as "give up"?? Laughable. Why are they even bother going to all this if they really wanted to move. They could have done so at many points during the 7 years Mario has owned the team. They could have moved way before the slots process...


You're forgetting they have a lease that runs through 2007...and the Lemieux Group was NEVER going to move the team. They're willing to sell it someone who will move.

The Pen's primary owners don't have $150 million. Maybe an investor in the group does, but the primary owners do not.


You don't need $150 million. You need to be able to raise $150 million. You partner with other corporations. You use Lemieux's goodwill in the community to get people on board. You call on Ron Burkle's connections. If, as promised, a new arena will bring in all kinds of business, it should be a profitable operation. The fact is the Pens have not done ONE thing to seek any private investment at all.

Nice, so you have decided that the Pen's support is small, and rabid to boot? Is that why 18 local politicians, and many of media have supported the IOC/Pen's plan??


The most rabid support comes from a few hundred people who post on this board, the same ones who will show up at the rally. It's a small group. It is not a groundswell. As far as the 18 politicians, look who they are. Jim Motznik? He doesn't have enough influence to get a parking ticket fixed. Pittsburgh Council, Allegheny Council have NO influence on a state decision. It's all a PR grab for them. Media support? What is that, Madden calling the governor names on a radio show that has a small audience? Sorry, that doesn't get things done. You need to look at the big picture.


I still failed to notice in any of your arguments where you noted how and why the Station Square proposal is better for the state or even the local community.
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Postby Bowser on Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:52 am

contrary to popular opinion by certain media individuals who write articles and post on message boards, Pens have tried to entice private investment to build the arena but it wasn't enough money to cover $250-300 million in costs. Rendell, Onorato and O'Connor said a Plan B needs to be discussed even though they've all said city, county and state money is not available.

They think some white knight is going to come in and say the day.

IDIOTS - every single one of them.
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Postby Ron` on Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:57 am

The thing that people don't talk about is that irregaurdless of who wins the initial license I'm sure it will be transferrable if they are not profitable. Someone will hold this license irregaurdless of actual profit margin.

Casinos are bought ,sold, torn down and rebuilt all the time. The sole source license is what matters. I know that the gaming commision will have to approve future sales. Save your rebuttal on that.

For the gaming comission to approve or deny any offer solely on the percieved initial profitablility and thus projected tax revenue is kind of short sighted. All things are pretty much equal when your talking a sole source license in my mind. Who are you competing with except outside the license region? You will only milk the local cow so much no matter who you are.

In summary to disregard a large up front investment in the Community because someone appears to have a much bigger market share elsewhere would be crazy. I mean what else can they use to project profitablilty, but market share and results. All of the licenses would be awarded to the largest Casino chains that applied if that were the case. Why even have a board for approval?

This is where I have a problem with the whole process as I understand it. The best offer to me for the state and community is the group that knows how to run a casino, puts the most into the area for good will and to make the Casino a draw. It also demands the least tax dollars in service upgrades to support the Casino (roads, sewage, utilities etc). The profit taxes will come either way, but the public costs and benefits need to be focused on more closely.
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Postby passmaster16 on Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:01 pm

People want to talk economic impact...I think this article after the lockout sums it up

The apparent end to the 301-day NHL lockout was all the talk in his suburban corner of Pittsburgh, a city that lost a precise $1.6 million in tax revenues and an estimated $48 million in overall economic impact because the Penguins were dark for 40-plus nights this past fall and winter. Such losses were felt not only Downtown and throughout the city, but also to

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05195/537714.stm
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