If you don't already know, Mike & Mike from ESPN radio will be in Pgh tomorrow for their show. The following is an email I sent them this morning:
Good morning guys,
I'm looking forward to your visit to Pgh tomorrow. I know your agenda is probably filled for tomorrow, but I was hoping you would be able to spare a few minutes and give the Pittsburgh new arena fiasco some national attention. I say 'Pittsburgh' arena situation because this is much more than a hockey arena. It's an asset the region needs badly. Assuming you are not already aware of the problems, here is what is taking shape. The Penguins have teamed with the Isle of Capri Gaming Corp to build an arena if the IOC is granted Pittsburgh's stand alone slots casino. This is a $290M gift to the region just for getting the license. However, for some 'strange' reason, the mayor, county commissioner, and most importantly, the governor are not lending support to this plan, when it is clearly the best for the region. Rumors abound that the other contestant in the slots license (Forest City Enterprises) has the inside 'slot' on the license because of generous campaign contributions made to the Rendell and O'Connor campaigns. This is skullduggery and corruption at its worst. Many events have occurred recently that lend credence to these runors, such as the Rendell double speak on the arena, the rumor that the management of the ampitheatre on the south side (where the Station Square slots casino would be built) were told not to schedule any concerts for this summer so that FCE can start surveying the spot for the casino, and many more.
Here is a sampling of the Rendell double speak:
"No public money is available for an arena". The Pens announce their intention to get the slots license.
"The NHL probably won't support an arena from slots revenue". The NHL gives their support of the Pens plan.
"The Pens proposal needs local support". Eighteen local politicians officially endorse the Pens plan. (these 18 are minus the mayor & county commisioner)
"The Pens need to have a Plan B". The only Plan B option is public money, which takes us back to the beginning.
As you can see, Rendell is just trying his best to make the Pens look bad so that when the license is given to FCE (a Cleveland corp at that), he doesn't look like the bad guy.
Mark Madden has much more information than I have supplied, and hopefully you can discuss this with him and give this issue some attention on your show tomorrow.
I thoroughly enjoy your show, and look forward to possibly meeting you tomorrow.