Big Lead Sports Bar


The Kansas City Penguins

Eagle-eyed reader A.J. points out that Kansas City isn't wasting much time to pounce on the Penguins, given today's results. He sends this article from the Kansas City Star about the reaction of the slots licensing in KC. The worst quote:
Brenda Tinnen, general manager of Sprint Center, expressed disappointment for the fans of the Penguins, who have been a mainstay in Pittsburgh since 1967. But she also summed up the feelings of many in Kansas City.

“Let’s just say it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” Tinnen said.


Anonymous said...

Kansas City has two pro sports franchises and they only support one of them.

What would make anyone think that adding a third to the mix is a good idea?

From the NHL's perspective, I'd sooner restore one of the old Canadian franchises before going to an unknown market like KC.

Unless, of course, Marty Schottenheimer is going to coach the Penguins ("There's a gleem, men...").

That said, I don't think the Penguins are going anywhere. This won't get done until the 11th hour, but Fast Eddie Rendell will approve enough state funding, coupled with casinoo, city, and team contributions, to build a new arena and keep the team in PGH.

The Burgher said...

Anyone underestimating the threat of the Pens leaving is naive.

If you had to choose between paying zero or $128.5 million for a new arena, what would you do?

I don’t blame Mario if the Pens leave.

Anonymous said...

Cecil, I understand your point; however, with all due respect, couldn't it be said that Pittsburgh has THREE pro sports franchises, and only support ONE of them?

Anonymous said...


It certainly could. I haven't lived in PGH in about 7 yrs, so I don't keep tabs on Pens' and Bucs' attendance like I used to, but I always felt that the support was there for at least one of those teams in any given year.

I think the larger issue is that the NHL cannot afford to lose the PGH market. Even though attendance has varied over the years, the TV ratings in PGH are among the strongest in the country; on par with Boston, Detroit, and Minnesota. Putting a team in KC will only create more ratings problems for a ratings-starved league.

Bic said...

We should all realize that even as much as we hate the Pirates owners, at least they own the damn team. I'd rather the Pens have a bad owner and stay...

Anonymous said...

You enjoy watching the Pirates under their ownership? Is that what you'd really want for the Pens, just to have them around?

Bic said...

Yes because at some point the ownership will change hands meaning there is still hope for a good team one day. You really think the Pirates will never be good again?

Anonymous said...


I agree with you that it is much better to keep the team you have, however awful and uncompetitive they may be, than rely on the league to place a new team in your town. Ask the football fans in Baltimore about this one.

But as for the Pirates, I don't want to say never again, b/c "forever" is a mighty long time. But 15 more years of losing is certainly within reason.

Anonymous said...

A point that shouldn't go ignored here is that the primary factor the Commission was supposed to consider was who would produce the most revenue. They concluded, independently, that PITG would do that with 5,000 slots. Add that PITG causes the least traffic issues and isn't on the edge of a depressed neighborhood -- at least not RIGHT on the edge -- and this is kind of a no-brainer for the Commission. Put differently, the fact that IOC was willing to build a new arena doesn't affect any of the problems with the IOC location -- it just makes them easier to overlook. Promising to build the arena was either a bribe or a strong-arm tactic, depending on how you want to look at it: it had f--k all to do with whether IOC had the best casino plan.

if the Penguins want to leave b/c they have to contribute some amount to the cost of a new arena, screw them. Even the Steelers had to pay for some of Heinz Field.

Anonymous said...


All I ever hear is that if people don't like pittsburgh then they can leave. Let me tell ya, people are taking that advice. The average age here is 115 years old. I guess mellon bank should hit the bricks too. It they don't like it, get the hell out. (sarcasim).

Anonymous said...


Honestly, you're going to catch shit for what you said.

But a lot of it makes perfect sense in some ways.

I wanted IOC to win, and unlike kpatrick, I DO NOT want the Pens to leave town under any circumstance.

However, their Plan B deal is no different than any other pro-team's arena/stadium deals (kpatrick referenced the Steelers). The main problem with Plan B is that it's a good 5 years too late!!

I did think it was sort of a bribe-like or strong-arming tactic on the part of IOC to fund the arena. I also thought it was kind of shady that Mario, owner of a pro-sports franchise, was in cahoots with a large gambling company.

The only concern with IOC though, because I don't care about bribes I just want a goddamn arena, was that it would be located in an empoverished area of town. I don't think introducing gambling to this area would help. Plus, if a bad element is constantly in that casino, it's going to discourage out-of-towners from coming to Pittsburgh and spending $$$ on the slots.

Perhaps if they had offered to build the arena and some commercial developement in the lower hill, but put the casino elsewhere it would have been better in the eyes of the committee.

The most ridiculous accusation out of all of this is that Barden got the license because he's black. Can ANYTHING ever happen involving a black dude without the race card coming out? Besides, I didn't think that affirmative action covered giving billionaires slots licenses!! Barden's no hack in this gambling business that got a license as "charity" because of his skin color. The guy knows what the hell he's doing. He just wasn't MY choice to get that license for obvious reasons... ::cough... fully funded arena for my favorite hockey team... cough::

Dirty Sanchez said...

KPatrick is right - the IOC's decision is based upon the greater good of the city of Pittsburgh, not the millionaire (or billionaire) owners of the Penguins. Baldwin took the short sighted view of installing club seats - who wouldn't pay $125 to watch Kris Beech and Rico Fata?? - instead of becoming part of the Part B gravy train. The Pens have been scrambling for the past 5 years because of that poor decision.

The Steelers paid part of the costs for Heinz Field, the McNuttings paid a portion for PNC park, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the potential owner of the Penguins to pay a portion for a new Arena.

Bettman knows that if the team moves to KC or Portland or Houston, he's going to have another market that will lose interest and not support the team regardless of their success. The Penguins play to about 93% capacity on home games and that will only increase once they have a modern arena. The great expansion experiment failed and the NHL will not allow a historically supportive market to lose a franchise.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the notion that location of this slots parlor (read: casino) will contribute to the downfall of the immediate neighborhood.

If some moron wants to enter the casino and blow every last penny in his pocket, I believe he will find a way to reach the casino, be it on the Hill, the North Shore, or near Station Square.

Placing casinos in major cities across the country is a bad idea. Rather than producing significant decay in the immediate surrounding neighborhood, a casino will create a more subtle level of decay across the entire city in the years to come.

A J said...

Those of you bashing Kansas City for not supporting the Royals need only look across the parking lot. Arrowhead has been sold out (78,000+) every single game since 1990. Did I mention the team has THREE playoff wins in that time? (1...2...3)

Kansas City will do just fine supporting the Pens. (And I didn't even mention the sold out Nascar Track across the river)

Peter Cottonmouth said...

did you really just use nascar as a reason for getting hockey?

KC can sell more tickets to tractor pulls in the arena than pittsburgh too, so give them the penguins?

Anonymous said...

The penguins suck. Kansas city is full of sucky teams. Seems to me that the penguins would be a perfect fit! I live in Kansas City and am a huge NHL fan. I truely sympathize for Pittsburgh fans....