Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New arena plan proposed

According to this article in the Post-Gazette, the Allegheny Institute has come up with a plan, supposedly, to fund an arena with private money. Check out the article, but basically it goes like this:

1. Gather private investor money either through partners or incorporating and issuing shares. Add this with naming rights and get $100-150 million.
2. The remaning $150-200 million needed "could be generated through the sale of seat licenses, luxury box rentals, concessions, in-arena advertising and event fees".

Not to sound harsh, but did someone really get paid a salary to come up with this?

The Penguins, to their credit, are basically saying "look, our plan is with Isle of Capri, and it doesn't use public taxpayer money", which is what they should be saying.

Myself, I have no such illusions of nobility, so I'll take issue with a few things:
  • Where the heck were all of these plans when the Pens were telling anyone who would listen that they need help with this? All they were told was "There is no public money". There was no impetus to work on other private arrangements. Now that they're in an exclusive agreement with IOC (Isle of Capri), every Tom, Dick and Harry (replace with Dan and Ed as needed) has a "great idea".
  • Naming rights, accoring to the article, won't really generate much. Last time, Mellon paid $18 million for 10 years. Assuming they can get that again (which is a big assumption since hockey isn't what it was back then), they still would need $80-130 million in private investment funds. Easier said than done.
  • Even dumber (if that's possible) is the suggestion to use all of the things that would make the team financially stable and competitive to pay for an arena.
It's getting tiresome watching all of the local figures and organziations cover their butts on a regular basis, just so they can say "We tried to keep the team here, but they just wouldn't talk to us. We did everything possible."

Oh - forgot to mention - I did a bit of investigating on my own about the concerts at the Chevrolet Amphitheatre. I have a bit more to do, but I'll have a post up in the next day or so about it.

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