FC and the Gov

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FC and the Gov

Postby Jasmine on Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:12 pm

MM said today rumor has it that when the governor met with FC/Harrah's regarding their $7.5 mil "contribution" toward a new arena, FC told him to FAGETABOUTIT! The arrogance is unbelievable! And I can see that this might be true since we the public have received no "confrimation" on this part of Plan B(S). Everyone is very quiet at the moment (and some very nervous, too).
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Postby Draftnik on Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:51 pm

Onorato allegedly has their agreement.
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Postby newarenanow on Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:55 pm

Draftnik wrote:Onorato allegedly has their agreement.



Is this as of today or is this as of last Thursdays news conference, because last Thursday, Onorato didn't have it, but said he would get it. It was the next day(Friday) that all the information that no applicant would agree yet or will not agree came out in the news. Unless he has it as of recently, then he doesn't have it. It was also in the Trib that FC had a fit while talking to the Govenor.
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Postby Draftnik on Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:21 pm

newarenanow wrote:
Draftnik wrote:Onorato allegedly has their agreement.



Is this as of today or is this as of last Thursdays news conference, because last Thursday, Onorato didn't have it, but said he would get it. It was the next day(Friday) that all the information that no applicant would agree yet or will not agree came out in the news. Unless he has it as of recently, then he doesn't have it. It was also in the Trib that FC had a fit while talking to the Govenor.


It was in the PBT. PG, or Trib last week. If you believe that FC & Harrah's have bought Rendell's support to steer the license in their direction and the award of the license is rigged/predetermined then it is impossible to believe he would formulate this plan without their approval. The two positions are patently incongruous. The IoC proposal has served its purpose by getting Rendell to the table.
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Postby Jamie on Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:30 pm

Oh yippie a Mark Madden Rumor. I would take what he says to the bank :roll: Mark Madden is doing everything he can to save the Pens, and I applaude his efforts on that front. However, Mark Madden has a tendancy to stretch the truth, and exaggerate things to further his agenda. And it is for these reasons his credability has suffered.
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Postby netwolf on Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:56 pm

Draftnik wrote:It was in the PBT. PG, or Trib last week. If you believe that FC & Harrah's have bought Rendell's support to steer the license in their direction and the award of the license is rigged/predetermined then it is impossible to believe he would formulate this plan without their approval. The two positions are patently incongruous. The IoC proposal has served its purpose by getting Rendell to the table.


Are you sure? I know the day after Rendell unveiled his plan, the PG ran a stoary and Abe Naprastek, FC/Harrah's spokeman, said they had not agreed to anything and that they would consider it.

If they get the buy-in from the other applicants, then fine. Until then, it shouldn't even be condidered. No serious plan should contain the words would, could, or might.
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Postby Draftnik on Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:46 pm

netwolf wrote:
Draftnik wrote:It was in the PBT. PG, or Trib last week. If you believe that FC & Harrah's have bought Rendell's support to steer the license in their direction and the award of the license is rigged/predetermined then it is impossible to believe he would formulate this plan without their approval. The two positions are patently incongruous. The IoC proposal has served its purpose by getting Rendell to the table.


Are you sure? I know the day after Rendell unveiled his plan, the PG ran a stoary and Abe Naprastek, FC/Harrah's spokeman, said they had not agreed to anything and that they would consider it.

If they get the buy-in from the other applicants, then fine. Until then, it shouldn't even be condidered. No serious plan should contain the words would, could, or might.


I read it last week in an article or column.

The whole notion that Rendell is so much in bed with Harrah's and FC that he has fixed it for them to win the license and that he all of a sudden isn't getting their buy in before he publicly commits ~ $7M of their money is ridiculous. If Harrah's/FC bought Rendell he wouldn't be selling them out like this. Why would anybody believe the fix is in and at the same time believe Harrah's didn't give Rendell the ~ $7M figure?

Parse the Harrah's/FC public comments. They want the Pens to commit to Pittsburgh under Plan B before they give their public commitment to funding. If Harrah's/FC publicly commits their $$$ without getting the Pens commitment first they lose all leverage of the ~ $7M. For all the rhetoric about Pittsburgh needing a new arena because a concert or two allegedly passes Pittsburgh over or the NCAA tourney won't come here once every few years, this whole debate is about keeping the Pens in Pittsburgh. There is no outcry or urgency to fix the Hill or build some shiny new arena for non-hockey events.

Once the Pens have publicly committed to stay in Pittsburgh under Plan B Harrah's & FC have effectively diffused IoC's plan. If Harrah's/FC make the first move and commit their $$$ without the Pens commitment to stay under Plan B the Pens threat to leave is still there and IoC still retains their meager leverage.

This is still a game of high stakes poker and every move/comment has to be analyzed through that prism.
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Postby 25+66+22=#1 on Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:57 pm

It was in the opinion section of sunday's trib (whispers subsection)
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Postby 25+66+22=#1 on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:04 pm

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Postby netwolf on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:13 pm



Thanks for that. This is what I mean though. Rendell's plan means nothing to me until I see Harrah's on the record as saying they will go along with it. Until they do, the plan is worthless. Lemieux thought he had a verbal committment for a new arena before; that won't happen again.
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Postby 25+66+22=#1 on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:16 pm

netwolf wrote:


Thanks for that. This is what I mean though. Rendell's plan means nothing to me until I see Harrah's on the record as saying they will go along with it. Until they do, the plan is worthless. Lemieux thought he had a verbal committment for a new arena before; that won't happen again.



No doubt about it.
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Postby newarenanow on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:23 pm

Here is the article written on Friday about the other applicants and the whole plan. It said they haven't committed. I think it is premature to say Onorato has it in writing.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06090/678324-61.stm
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Postby netwolf on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:35 pm

newarenanow wrote:Here is the article written on Friday about the other applicants and the whole plan. It said they haven't committed. I think it is premature to say Onorato has it in writing.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06090/678324-61.stm


And that was my main criticism last week. IMO, Rendell shouldn't have even gone public with this until the other parties were on board. Otherwise, you are making promises you have no business making. And it's not like Rendell is the most trustworthy guy in the world, especially on this side of the state.
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Postby Draftnik on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:36 pm

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06089/678121-100.stm

Here is the article that said Onorato had verbal commitments. I don't think anybody ever said it was in writing. Harrah's/FC won't make a public commitment until the Pens publicly commit to the framework of Plan B per Abe Nappy.

This talk is all chicken little the sky is falling talk. First the talk was Harrah's already had the license and the Pens were leaving town for sure. Next it was Rendell would rehash the Leeper plan that called for a prohibitive contribution from the Pens. Now Harrah's allegedly won't give up the $$$.

As the weeks pass we are moving closer to what was a certainty from the beginning. The Pens will get a new arena under very favorable terms.
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Postby 25+66+22=#1 on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:41 pm

netwolf wrote:
newarenanow wrote:Here is the article written on Friday about the other applicants and the whole plan. It said they haven't committed. I think it is premature to say Onorato has it in writing.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06090/678324-61.stm


And that was my main criticism last week. IMO, Rendell shouldn't have even gone public with this until the other parties were on board. Otherwise, you are making promises you have no business making. And it's not like Rendell is the most trustworthy guy in the world, especially on this side of the state.


It bothers me to pat the guy on the back.But i say he probably put a tremendous amount of pressure on the FC scumbags. In other words backing them into a corner and holding them for ransom. If they won't agree to pay, they will completely seal their fate with the public .
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Postby netwolf on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:42 pm

I don't think I am a "sky is falling" type, not that you were directing that at me. All I know is that verbal agreements were made to fund an arena when Lemieux first got the team and there still isn't one in the works.

I am not saying the other licensees WON'T put up the money Rendell's plan calls for. I am saying that until they say they will, on the record, I am not putting any stock in this plan at all.

I still think that the IoC plan will do more for the downtown area, but as long as the Pens get the new building and stay put, I don't really care who gets it or where the casino is.

And the Naprostek note *could* be an issue. If Harrah's doesn't want to commit until the Pens accept the deal, what happens if the Pens don't want to commit until they know the money is there?
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Postby Draftnik on Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:49 pm

netwolf wrote:And that was my main criticism last week. IMO, Rendell shouldn't have even gone public with this until the other parties were on board. Otherwise, you are making promises you have no business making. And it's not like Rendell is the most trustworthy guy in the world, especially on this side of the state.


If Rendell is so tight with FC & Harrah's that he fixed the process to give them the license why would he not have their buy-in with the Plan B proposal? It is ridiculous to think they are secret partners on one hand, but they aren't in agreement on public commitments of slots profits.

Harrah's/FC will never make a public commitment until the Pens agree to Plan B as a backup. Until the Pens agree to stay IoC's plan still has meager leverage. The arena issue is still subterfuge or whatever Don "King" Barden called it because the issue isn't the arena, it is the Pens.

It also is nonsensical to think the Pens could get hoodwinked by a verbal promise. The only way the Pens would be obligated to stay in Pittsburgh is if they sign a binding legal document, aka an arena lease. They wouldn't sign a lease to stay in the Igloo for 30 more years. Rendell will have the Pens and/or the NHL signed on the dotted line for a legally binding new arena lease before the November election. If he doesn't none of this makes any sense for him and it could actually hurt him if he hasn't delivered the Pens to Pittsburgh by the first Tuesday in November after all these machinations.
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Postby netwolf on Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:05 pm

Drafty, I hope you're right. I am fairly cynical anytime policians get involved with something. I don't know if Rendell is in bed with FC or not. Sometimes I think it could be true, but as other have pointed out, if a few hundred thousand in campaign contributions is all it took, they anyone could have gotten in on that. That's a low number relative to the potential for income which surrounds this license.

Basically, whenever politicans in general are involved, I say "I'll believe it when I see it." Maybe even more so on this issue, with of the times the story has changed. When the 66 first got the team, they said "we'll get you taken care of." Then, for reasons beyond their control or not, that changed to "there is no money, you are on your own." Then they find private money and are told "hey that might not work, you better find another avenue."
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Postby Draftnik on Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:26 pm

netwolf wrote:Drafty, I hope you're right. I am fairly cynical anytime policians get involved with something. I don't know if Rendell is in bed with FC or not. Sometimes I think it could be true, but as other have pointed out, if a few hundred thousand in campaign contributions is all it took, they anyone could have gotten in on that. That's a low number relative to the potential for income which surrounds this license.

Basically, whenever politicans in general are involved, I say "I'll believe it when I see it." Maybe even more so on this issue, with of the times the story has changed. When the 66 first got the team, they said "we'll get you taken care of." Then, for reasons beyond their control or not, that changed to "there is no money, you are on your own." Then they find private money and are told "hey that might not work, you better find another avenue."


I'm also very distrusting of politicians, but Rendell like every other player in this drama has self serving interests. If he doesn't have the Pens signed by the first Tuesday in November he faces the very real risk of having his attempt to keep the Pens in Pittsburgh blow up in his face and backfire. He has to seal this deal before then since he has spent political capital and put his neck on the line with his actions last week. The NHL has to approve any franchise move, so that is why I mentioned them as a party that can agree to his backup deal without the Pens compromising the legality of their IoC agreement.

Lemieux and his investors/lawyers were up against a deadline to finalize their plan to buy the Pens out of bankruptcy. I wouldn't say they were naive and foolish to think they had a verbal agreement because as Lemieux's lawyers know better than I ever could, verbal agreements are worthless. Local officials didn't have time to create a formal arena financing plan as the bankruptcy proceedings unfolded.

Even in the very unlikely event Rendell/Harrah's/FC are not in collusion on Plan B there are other financing mechanisms available such as current Mellon Arena RAD $$$, Rental Car Tax (O'Connor's suggestion), etc. This deal will get done and the Pens will be here on their terms.
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Postby newarenanow on Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:42 pm

I don't think the sky is falling either, but if the other applicants do not commit, there won't be a deal. There is not enough "other" financing to match that $7.5M. It will end up coming from taxes from the people some how, some way, and even if it is the RAD tax or parking, the people of pittsburgh won't stand for it.

I do think things are going in the right direction, and I am not saying other applicants won't commit, I'm just saying I won't believe it until it is in writing, which right now, it is not.

I wish I was as optimistic as you Draftnik, but until it is signed and sealed, I will be on my heels.

Hopefully in about a year, we can all be sitting on this board talking about how the Pens will be here forever (at least the majority of our lifetime).
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Postby Tinker on Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:00 am

Normally I'm very optimistic, however, I have learned a painful lesson on this issue.

I feel the kybosh coming down everytime someone says emphatically "this deal will get done."

It seems to me that FC would want to commit to Plan B, effectively taking the real teeth out of IOC's proposal. Since they have not done so yet, I feel there may be that rumored collusion between FC & Fat Eddie, but the two are having a contest of urination.

Conversely, I can't imagine the Pens agreeing to Plan B before the license is awarded. A) they are legally prohibited from doing so (due to their agreement with IOC), and B) by doing so, they could be decreasing the chances of getting $290M Scot-free.

As has been stated, until there is a legally binding document, with all parties signatures, I have no faith that this deal will get done.

The best thing that could happen to the whole process would be for Rendell to ask the GCB to accelerate the Pittsburgh license award to hopefully pre-election. He would benefit certainly, which pains me, but the Pens would either have $290M in the bank within 90 days, or be free to wheel and deal on Plan B.
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:16 am

Jamie wrote:Oh yippie a Mark Madden Rumor. I would take what he says to the bank :roll: Mark Madden is doing everything he can to save the Pens, and I applaude his efforts on that front. However, Mark Madden has a tendancy to stretch the truth, and exaggerate things to further his agenda. And it is for these reasons his credability has suffered.


We have a first. Somebody actually used the words "Mark Madden" and "credibility" in the same post.
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Postby Draftnik on Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:22 pm

newarenanow wrote:I don't think the sky is falling either, but if the other applicants do not commit, there won't be a deal. There is not enough "other" financing to match that $7.5M. It will end up coming from taxes from the people some how, some way, and even if it is the RAD tax or parking, the people of pittsburgh won't stand for it.

I do think things are going in the right direction, and I am not saying other applicants won't commit, I'm just saying I won't believe it until it is in writing, which right now, it is not.

I wish I was as optimistic as you Draftnik, but until it is signed and sealed, I will be on my heels.

Hopefully in about a year, we can all be sitting on this board talking about how the Pens will be here forever (at least the majority of our lifetime).


Onorato has been on various local radio stations indicating he has verbal commitments from FC/Harrah's and Barden. He and O'Connor also have intimated that they will use all their zoning powers (building permits, sewage, a zillion other things) to leverage FC/Harrah's to participate in funding the arena.

I'm not some naive optimist about this drama. Politicians are self serving like the Pens, Harrah's, IoC, Franco Harris, etc. Nobody is in this for altruistic reasons. 3 prominent politicians have spent significant political capital to promise the Pens will stay in Pittsburgh. Rendell made this a campaign issue with his Plan B and he will look like an absolute idiot and cost himself votes if he doesn't finish the deal. This will get done. Bob Grove recounted Moorehouse's objections in his latest newsletter at pp.com. None of the issues are deal breakers.

I also think Pens fans don't understand that KC is not offering a sweetheart deal, nor is Houston, Portland, Vegas, Winnipeg.... There is not a single other city out there that can offer the Pens 100% control of all revenue streams. There isn't a single other city that can offer the Pens $10M in annual RSN fees.

The Pens have moved from their own goal line in December to 1st and goal in less than 4 months and fans are still b*tching. People need to step back and appreciate how this process has moved infinitely further ahead in the last 4 months than it did in the previous 5 years.
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Postby NIN on Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:26 pm

Draftnik, for once, I absolutely 100% agree with every word your saying here. :D
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Postby skullman80 on Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:34 pm

Progess has been made no doubt.

I won't rest easy until I see a shovel in the ground though. :lol:
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