Penguins out of Pittsburgh?

TSN is reporting that Lemiuex and company are unhappy with the progression of getting a new arena in Pittsburgh for the Penguins and is eluding to possibly moving the team.

Mellon arena is the oldest and smallest arena out there and, from what I have heard, it seriously shows it to. After this season, cities can start making bids on the franchise, who in all likelyhood want to stay, but if they can’t, don’t think management won’t pull the plug.

The article reports Kansas City is interested, which to me seems a huge waste (Not sure of how big a hockey community in Kansas could be.) However I have also heard the following possibilities:


Quebec City

Seattle (However, most probably Portland because they have a proper arena)

One question: If you take an eastern conferance team and move it to the west coast, can it still be an eastern conferance team? (Kinda like how Detroit is a Western conferance team). Personally I feel if Seattle or Houston get the franchise we should make it a western team and move Detroit to the conference it belongs in.

59 Responses to Penguins out of Pittsburgh?

  1. Bluesman says:

    Winnipeg will get a team back, eventually, but how things will shake out is that a) a couple of teams in the US will relocate, b) a couple of teams in the US will fold and THEN, c) a couple of teams will be sold and moved to Winnipeg and maybe Hamilton and Quebec City.

    Even with a falling US$ and new revenue streams in Canada (e.g., TSN/Rogers regional coverage), there is a political aspect that will delay the return of NHL teams to Canada: a team folding in Canada wouldn’t affect US franchise values, but a team folding or moving to Canada will negatively affect US franchise values.

  2. Bluesman says:

    If the Buffalo Sabres, who already paid off territorial indemnity to the Leafs and Red Wings, moved across the border, you can have a situation like Anaheim in baseball: the Toronto Buffaloes of Hamilton!

    But seriously, the Sabres operate in the dumpiest local economy of all the US franchises, it’s hard to believe that ten years ago, all the companies were supposed to flee across the border from Bob Rae and the NDP! Now, the Lou Dobbs 19th Century Hour on CNN rips NAFTA’s as “bad” for the US by comparing booming Toronto to fading Buffalo.

    Besides the bad Buffalo/Erie County economy, a lot of the Sabres’ fans live on the wrong side of US Homeland Security. The Buffaloes can easily fill up Copps when the fans don’t need to show passports!

  3. rojoke says:

    There was a story in the Hockey News two weeks ago about this. According to that article, a slots license would generate over $43 million in earnings, as estimated by the state of Pennsylvania. If that’s earnings as in profits, then that would put the Penguins deep in the black, and able to pay off a new arena in 5 years or less, depending on if they went below 18,500 seats or above.

  4. rojoke says:

    I didn’t know Allen gave up the arena. I don’t follow the NBA that closely, so I wasn’t aware of the problems that you mentioned.

    As for Winnipeg’s arena, I followed a lot of the stories circulating when it was being built, and the one criticism that I remember hearing was that it was almost impossible, either structurally or financially, to put more than the 15,500 seats it has now.

  5. rojoke says:

    Yeah, another team did come to TO a couple of years ago. They were called the Roadrunners, and they moved to Edmonton after one season. Then MLSE bought the Ricoh Coliseum and moved their farm team up their this season.

  6. KevinPity says:

    If you are going to go to an American market for the biggest potential you would go to houston. But probably won’t happen. And whatever ***** the pens. If they were smart enough to build their own damn arenas like Mr. SNider and company they would not be in such a predictament. ***** hockey in Pittsburgh if they expect me to pay for their stadium.

  7. Bluesman says:

    Houston is a big market, I think it’s #4 behind Chicago in size, but the economy is not as healthy as Dallas (not just due to Enron but many mini versions that didn’t make the broader news). Les Alexander, who owns/runs the Toyota Center, has been rumoured to want a team for years (and on the verge of getting the Oilers, Flames or Senators at one point – take your pick) and passed on chances when actual teams went on sale.

  8. Bluesman says:

    A new arena is tabbed at $250 Million so you have to figure that the slots will generate sufficient revenues to patch over the Pens annual losses at the Igloo while the arena is being built, and then pay off the mortgage when the new pond opens. Sounds good on paper IF the Pens win the slots license … but there are five groups vying for it and the Post-Gazette hints that the governor has a big donor who is the front runner. Those donors have offered $100 Million from their slots proceeds for an arena. Ed Rendell was on Michael Feldman’s “What Do You Know?” on NPR in October and didn’t seem like the sleazeball portrayed in Cook’s column.

  9. pensfanalltheway6687 says:

    First off, the Pirates SUCK! At least the Penguins have a potential to make it to thte play-offs and maybe farther. I think that the Pens should get the money to build. The pirates haven’t even had a winning season in like 10 years! At least the Pens are now getting close to a full arena every night. The pirates aren’t even close, at least not this past season. Secondly, Super Mario brought them to 2 Stanley Cups, and saved the team from leaving. The only reason they are broke is because they do not have enough space in the igloo to make a substancial amount of money.

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