New Suitor For Pens Would Keep Team In Town
(KDKA) PITTSBURGH KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan has learned that there's another suitor for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But unlike investors in Kansas City and Hartford, Connecticut -- who would move the team -- this investor wants to keep the team here.
His name is Jim Renacci.
He's a Pittsburgh native who currently owns the Columbus Destroyers Arena Football team.
Sources tell KDKA that Renacci is trying to put together a group of local investors to possibly buy the team and keep it here long term.
Even though the Pens aren't free to negotiate with buyers yet, SheehanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sources say they've had a New York banker put together a book on the team's finances.
Potential suitors will have to pay $100,000 in non-refundable cash to get a look at it.
When asked if Renacci had expressed an interest in obtaining a book, Ken Sawyer of the Pens would not elaborate.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We don't comment on anything to do with a sale process,Ã¢â‚¬ï¿¾ said Sawyer. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We consider that a private matter until we have a deal in place.Ã¢â‚¬ï¿¾
Renacci, hasn't returned KDKAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s phone calls, but sources say he's talking to local investors about putting together a group to buy the Pens.
The same sources say the group may even include current Penguins owners -- who want to stay invested.
And for good reason, the Penguins are suddenly a more attractive commodity.
If their partners, Isle of Capri get a slots license, the new Pens' owners would get a new arena free of charge.
If Isle of Capri fails, Governor Rendell says the state will still build an arena with slots money with the Penguins chipping in.
Rendell says that should be enough to guarantee the Pens staying in Pittsburgh.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We should be in the position to go forward,Ã¢â‚¬ï¿¾ said Rendell. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We should be in a position where the Penguins should stay if they can legally."
But the penguins will make no such commitment.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“No not at all,Ã¢â‚¬ï¿¾ said Sawyer. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We still need to see all the details of the plan. What we do know is that with the Isle of Capri plan, we will be here. That's the plan that requires no public money. And is the best plan for the city and the Penguins."
Sawyer was asked if the Penguins want to drive up the sales price of the team by entertaining out of town offers.
He said only that they'd prefer to sell them to someone who wants to keep them here.