Thursday, March 30, 2006

Penguins response to Governor Rendell

It was basically just like Bill Lumbergh in Office Space saying "Yeah.... I'm going to have to ask you to go ahead and explain how this makes more sense."

As an insurance backup plan, I guess it's okay.

From a financial perspective, this is really frightening. Instead of collecting $290 million up front from a private business, they want to do a 30 year bond issue that would repay, in total, $556 million dollars, with $210 million coming from the 5% tax on slots revenue and $225 million coming from the slots license winner. Does that make sense to you?

I think Ken Sawyer was completely right in pointing out that it would be spending $210 million of state money that would otherwise go to other things over 30 years.

I listened to Governor Rendell on Ellis Cannon's show tonight. Very interesting how he presented what criteria would determine the winner of the slots license. Up until now, everyone had been saying that whichever plan was best for Pittsburgh (and the surrounding area) would be chosen. Tonight Gov Rendell presented the criteria in the following order:
  1. Integrity of applicant
  2. Profitability of applicant
  3. Financial soundness of applicant
  4. Benefit to region
Sounds like some subtle shifting in the favor of the bigger Harrahs, no? Maybe I'm reading into things too much...


RichW said...

1. Cash to campaign
2. Integrity of applicant
3. Profitability of applicant
4. Financial soundness of applicant
5. Benefit to region

There, fixed that for you.

Pat said...

Thanks, Rich! I hate missing the obvious...


Will said...

So how does everyone feel about this. I know it seems like this plan 'b' could be a real money leach for many years to come for Pitts. folks, but it also sounds like the Pens may be staying no matter who wins the slots. Am I wrong in thinking that?

Pat said...

If IOC doesn't get the slots license, then the team is under no obligation to stay - if the new ownership wants to move them, despite what the government proposes as a "Plan B", they'll be free to do so. In fact, they could use the Plan B against the region, in terms of getting a better financial deal from another city (no $8.5 up front and $2.9 per year).

Will said...

Thanks for clearing that up Pat... The whole 290 if IOC wins and 580 mil through the bond seems like a no brainer, but what the hell do I know. I don't live in Pitts so I can't say I hope one happens or the other because it has no real impact on me but I just really hope no matter what they decide to do the Pens stay in Pitts.

Will said...

... and not at the expense of the people living there. (Kinda forgot that part :)

Pronovost said...

Maybe I'm taking an overly simplistic view, but Plan B looks like nothing more than CYA for Rendell, and superficial CYA at that.