Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No Deal in Pittsburgh!

1) In a move predicted here this past Monday, the State of Pennsylvania denied a request to have casino owners " Isle of Capri' build an arena as part of a larger casino building deal in downtown Pittsburgh.
2) To refresh the memories of some. This is what we wrote then: The approval for the 'Isle of Capri' deal will be announced next week. Its any one's guess how the state will rule. One law maker told FAUXRUMORS not to be surprised to see that deal be denied now that others have expressed a willingness to pony up the dough on their own without the negative image of a casino paying for one.
3)We contacted that source earlier this morning and they told us that in fact the new bidder from Canada, coupled with Balsile's decision to pull out were to clinchers to the denial. They feel that its very likely that an arena can be built with a minimum of tax payer dollars AND without the negative appearance that gambling casinos can lend.
4)Along those lines, we're told that Gary Bettman was influential in getting the deal denied, though he will of course not want that known publicly. He, and many in the NHL hierarchy felt that the mere involvement of a casino company with an NHL franchise wouldn't be to the league's benefit. Especially coming after the Rick Tochett, Janet Gretzky fiasco of last year.
5) So like we asked Monday: Where do we go from here? Well, after the initial gnashing of teeth from Lemieux and the other owners, quiet negotiations will commence with the new interested parties. Gary Bettman will try to get that finalized before the playoffs at the latest, then a new arena proposal can be made public during the summer. Not to worry Penguin fans, we do NOT see the team leaving your city any time soon.

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