Thursday, March 08, 2007

Icing on the cake

Officials with the NHL, the Sprint Center and the Pittsburgh Penguins have been skating around a relocation of the hockey team for a few months.

It has been pretty widely accepted in the KC area that the sweet deal made by AEG, the managers of the new arena, was really nothing more than leverage for the Penguins organization to use against government officials in Pittsburgh.

But the leverage is taking longer than expected to move city, county and state officials to build a new Pittsburgh arena. And with each passing day, the Penguins ownership group gets closer to finding a new home.

Just the other day, they declared that they were at an impasse with officials in Pittsburgh. They have since met with the mayor of Las Vegas and approached city officials in Houston.

Meanwhile, the AEG folks aren't waiting in the penalty box. Though details were lacking, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that AEG has sweetened it's already sweet offer to the Pengins.
Kansas City upped the ante in an attempt to lure the Penguins from Pittsburgh, Wednesday.

Penguins' co-owner Ronald Burkle met Wednesday with officials from AEG, which will operate the new Sprint Center in Kansas City. AEG has sweetened its offer to the Penguins.

"If the Penguins make a decision to relocate, we are absolutely positive that they will not find a better offer or a better market than they will get in Kansas City," said Michael Roth, vice president of communications for AEG. "We don't spend our days worrying about whether or not they will leave Pittsburgh, but we do strongly believe that Kansas City is where they will end up."
While I still think the odds are long that the Penguins will end up in KC, the Lloyd Christmas side of my brain is sayin' "So you're telling me there's a chance."

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