FC says it supports Plan B; but only if Pens do

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FC says it supports Plan B; but only if Pens do

Postby newarenanow on Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:36 am

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune ... 44895.html


FC said it supports the 'Plan B' proposal and will commit money if the Pens agree to it. Sawyer says they have to look at the Plan B more indepth and still get some questions answered.

The article also says that the IOC and Barden focused on community and the casino and arena while FC only focused on Harrahs. FC said Harrahs is opening a new casino in Spain and it will draw people to Pittsburgh to gamble. Do they really think people will come from Spain to Pittsburgh? I hope the Gaming Board sees through them. They also downplayed traffic and other issues to promote that they have 40 M customers.

But now that they said they will commit if the Pens do, this should hopefully get the other questions answered.
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Postby jdev28 on Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:13 pm

Doesn't this put the Pens in kind of a rough spot? They can say that they are committed to staying in Pittsburgh, but can they really say that they support plan B? Wouldn't that mean that they are kind of abandoning IOC? Because plan B is only needed if IOC doesn't get the license.

I don't know, it just seems like the Pens are in a tight spot and can't say anything except that IOC needs to win the license, which means they didn't commit to plan B, which means that FC will not commit to plan B either.
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Postby Guido on Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:33 pm

this is a rough spot....and to make it even worse, the licenses won't be handed out until December-ish!! That means the Penguins cannot commit openly to Plan B until then. Lots of time for everyone to hear 'IOC is the best plan'...it will make the Penguins organization look like the bad guys.

On top of this, won't out of town buyers be looking into the franchise over the summer?? While Barden and FC have 'given their WORD' to the Pens, the whole situation is very murky because of:
1. The length of time it will take to award the license.
2. The possibility of the Penguins ownership selling the team to an out of town group
3. Unanswered questions concerning who will own the arena, what plans will be used, etc.

It just gets harder and harder, doesn't it?
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Postby Stoosh on Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:18 pm

won't out of town buyers be looking into the franchise over the summer??


The Pens can begin actively shopping the franchise in either June or July, methinks. Up to this point, they've only been able to field calls coming in about the franchise (they have not been allowed to solicit bids on it, but they could talk to a potential buyer if the buyer came to them).

I still think we'll be OK. The sales of these teams take a LONG time to work out (as much as 6-8 months to completely go through, I think) because there is so much to negotiate. Plus they have to get league approval, blah blah blah. And I have to think that no prospective buyer is going to be really serious until they know what's going to happen with the arena.

These developments today seem to make it probable that the arena will be built here and the team will stay here. There are some deals that have to be ironed out with Plan B - lease agreements, ownership of the arena, distribution of revenues, etc. But a lot of this stuff concerning Plan B can and almost certainly will be negotiated to present a very favorable arena deal for any prospective buyer (from what I understand, the lease agreements on some of these other arenas aren't exactly attractive deals).

The best way to go is still the IoC plan, hands down. But it's sounding more and more like Plan B is going to become an acceptable alternative. The above details concerning Plan B will have to be ironed out and released within the next few months, and I'm sure the Penguins will comment on them once they've had an opportunity to look at them and talk them over with the IoC representatives. The Pens could very well continue to stand behind the IoC plan, but agree to accept Plan B as an alternative if and only if the IoC bid doesn't win the license. IoC gave the Pens permission to speak with local officials about preliminary discussions concerning the viability of Plan B as an alternative, and there should be ways that this can be worked out between IoC and the Pens.
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Postby bill from turtle creek on Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:26 pm

Onorato can get the burden off the Pens by stressing to FC that this is not simply a Pens issue. We have all been saying, and Onorato as well, that the region needs a new facility regardless of whether the Pens stay or not. IF THIS IS TRUE, then Onorato can tell FC that we need them to sign off on an arena plan without any involvement or promises from the Pens. It's true that this doesn't bind the Pens in town, but everyone will have to take ML's word that he doesn't want the team to leave, and trust him on it.
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Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:36 pm

Bill, you really bring up a good point.

It shouldn't matter whether the Pens have committed to plan B or not. The city needs a new arena and both the IoC plan and the Barden plan will allow that to happen.

FC is just trying to keep the whole arena discussion as a Penguin issue to keep the support for their plan from all of the old yinzers.

I think I can't hate FC and Harrahs anymore, but they keep finding new ways to anger me! :twisted:

I'm boycotting all Harrahs facilities for the rest of my life.
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Postby dboss on Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:43 pm

Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:
I think I can't hate FC and Harrahs anymore, but they keep finding new ways to anger me! :twisted:

I'm boycotting all Harrahs facilities for the rest of my life.


I second that. I will NEVER step into a facility owned by Harrah's. I realize that all of these plans have only been offered to make money for the applicants, but Harrah's has taken selfishness to a new level. Even if the the Pens are saved and a new arena is built, you will never see me in a Harrah's complex.
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Postby Guido on Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:41 pm

Well, now that Onorato said "it is not about keeping the Penguins", the pressure is off FC. They can promise, in principle and through words that they will give money to the Pens, KNOWING DAMN WELL that Plan B is not finalized and not completely ironed out. Plan B is missing many vital parts.

Can't wait to suffer through the summer with everyone labeling the Pens and IOC as the bad guys.
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Postby DayWalker on Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:10 pm

Actually, I do not think that Penguin support or FCE/Harrah's support will be the primary impediments to "Plan B" being implemented; I am confident (though perhaps surprised) that those two considerations will not pose any meaningful problems in the end. Rather, I think the biggest roadblock may be the estimated $7 million per year from the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund. It is here that I think there will be a substantial amount of public and/or political opposition. Some-"Gadfly" Gary English, the Allegheny Institute, The Pittsburgh arts community, the regular assortment of cast and characters, etc.-will likely argue that money from that source should be used for other projects, not for the benefit of enriching millionaire (billionaire?) professional sports owners and athletes, blah, blah, blah...

Moreover, there remains a debate about whether money from this source can indeed go towards the financing of a new arena in Pittsburgh without any legislative tinkering, or whether the slots legislation must actually be changed or re-drafted to permit such a project undertaking.

So, as The Wolf said in Pulp Fiction, "Well, let's not start sucking each others ***** just yet." I am confident (once again) that the project will be done, and that the Penguins will stay in Pittsburgh where they belong, but there are still some major questions that need to be answered.
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