What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 20, 2006

PITG/North Shore Wins Big

Yep, everyone was wrong. "The fix" apparently wasn't in -- why did anyone think Ol' Murphy would be wrong about everything else and right on this in the first place?

The State Gaming Control Board chose Detroit's Don Barden's PITG Gaming Majestic Star to build a casino on Pittsburgh's North Shore.

Frankly, I didn't care where it went as long as it wasn't located on the South Side as that's where I live.

The choice of the North Shore certainly should please the late-to-the-table protesters in the Hill District who did not want a casino in their back yard. Additionally, Barden has promised $350,000,000 to the Hill District for economic redevelopment and has also pledged to be mindful of racial diversity in hiring (Barden is African American).

The choice will not please Penguins fans who wanted the Isle of Capri's promised new hockey stadium (which also made whoever ends up owning the Penguins stay in the city for the next 20 years).

Barden has signed on to endorsing Plan B, however. That means a promise of $7.5 million a year towards a new stadium (plus 3.5 from the Pens and 1.5 from the city, I think?).

And the promised tax relief to everyone else?

Shit, Skippy. Who can keep track of little details like that with all the other scheming and intrigue and special interests going on?


Anonymous said...

For once I agree with you.

This is nothing more than to line the pockets of those politicans who are responsible.

Anonymous said...

The Pens would pay 8.5 upfront than regular contributions over 30 years totaling $128.5 million dollars.

Or they can move into a totally free arena in Kansas City after the civic arena lease expires in 2007.

Anonymous said...

As much as we all care about the Pens staying in Pittsburgh, and as much as we're concerned with the state of the lower hill, WHERE IS THE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF that was promised as a basis for securing public support of the casino business in the first place?

Mike said...

There was one really good, and unmentioned, thing that happened today: the Gettysburg Casino was rejected. I am very happy about that.

Anonymous said...

Don Barden is black, not African-American. Last time I checked he is not from Africa.

PtBreeze said...

If Murphy had not raised the issue of the "fix", that casino would have been awarded to Station Square.

Anonymous said...

The Pens are going to leave the city of pittsburgh and the person to blame is Dan Onorato. He never took a stance for the Penguins, and because of this, I - as well as many other Pittsburghers wont take a stance for him in this upcoming election.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait for that property tax relief, it will just about cover the tax increase we'll get to pay for what should have been a free arena.

Anonymous said...

Your mayor (this was the flip-flop after the Act 47 flip-flop and before the Regan flip-flop, if you're keeping score) and chief executive were so busy taking care of their financiers that they didn't have time to deal with silly things like property tax relief or negotiating deals to keep a major sports team in Pgh. Although, as for Luke, who are we kidding - the most serious negotiations he's ever had before he volunteered to be mayor were at a McDonald's drive-thru window. When the licensing board heard that both the mayor and chief executive ACTIVELY embraced (despite what the PG reports about Luke's support of IOP) Plan B, they gave the board the greenlight to embrace the plan. Harrah's brought traffic nightmares and the shadiness of a rumored "fix", Isle of Capri brought a neighborhood protest and we'll never know what else, & Barden brought higher revenues, so w/the mayor & chief executive's greenlight, the board cut the proverbial baby in 1/2.

Patrick said...

You guys seemed to take IOC at their word that they would actually build the new arena. Guess what would happen if there were cost over-runs? They would come to the taxpayers hat-in-hand to make up the difference.

Majestic Star, of the three, will generate the most tax revenue, which is the primary reason to legalize gambling in the first place. AND they're going to help with a new arena.

If the Mayor and Onorato really had that much of an impact on the process, and if they were pushing Forest City on behalf of Lieberman and Zappala, then Forest City would have received the license.

Blame whomever you want, congratulate whomever else, but the best site for the city actually won out this time.

Anonymous said...

A new arena is not just about keeping the Pens here. It's about having a viable venue for concerts, the circus, seminars, ice shows, basketball games, rodeos, monster truck shows...

The Burgher said...

By pushing Plan B, Onorato and Ravenstahl only weakened the Pens plan, they could never guarantee it would go to Lieberman or Zappala.

If you think the Pens are going to be in a rush to deal with those two jokers you are crazy.

The Kansas City news media is all over this as a sign that the Pens are coming to KC. They have a brand new arena that wont cost the Pens a penny.

Do you think the Pens are going to want to pay $128 million to get into a new arena two years from now, when they can immediately move into a brand new arena next season?

Pat, Onorato and Ravenstahl did everything they could to prevent the Pens. Strange that a self-proclaimed IOC supporter like Luke Ravenstahl never testified on their behalf to the Gaming Control Board.

It's going to be a shame when Crosby raises the Cup in KC in a few years time.

Anonymous said...

Since when was it the duty of the taxpayers representative to give taxbreaks to a sports team?

Anonymous said...

If you think that Luke wasn't acting on behalf of Lieberman & Zappalla, why on earth would he have strayed from his original commitment to IOC???

I sincerely doubt that IOC would've failed to build an arena, and although it's unclear whether the $290 million was really the windfall we would all like to believe (would there have been a corresponding reduction in our property tax relief?), one thing is clear: Both Luke and Danny dropped the ball. Luke is 26, Luke likes to attend the games and drink beer with his friends, not do the hard, boring work that's required in these situations. Danny is just a scatterbrained narcissist w/a silver tongue. The plans and meetings that Danny & his ventriloquist dummy Luke spoke of today should've taken place months ago - the boys were so certain of their financiers' position that they failed to make any headway with Mr. Barden prior to the award of the license. They are now in a lesser bargaining position than they would have been had they been engaged in discussions w/all 3 candidates, the Pens AND potential Pens' buyers all along. MAJOR, MAJOR mistakes by the mayor's jv team (too busy posing for billboard photos) and by Danny O.

Mark Rauterkus said...

A new arena is not just about keeping the Pens here. It's about having a viable venue for concerts, the circus, seminars, ice shows, basketball games, rodeos, monster truck shows...

No way. When was the last time you wanted leather seats and corporate boxes for a monster truck show? The circus has a viable venue now -- called the Civic Arena.

The Pens need the new arena for the Pens. Sure, there are some fancy concerts that would like a better venue -- but that is for The Rolling Stones and the latest top 10 acts. That's it. That's about once a month or slightly more in the summer.

We need to push to keep the Civic Arena with modest changes after the Pens depart that venue.

We need the Pens to stay in Allegheny County, but outside the city. Put the Pen's new venue around the airport.

And make sure that the Pens own the new venue. That gives them deeper roots in the area when they own, operate and program their own building.