Thursday, September 02, 2004

Pens Practice Rink part of plan

  • PG reports Practice Rink for Pens part of plan

  • Kansas City Start coverage Kansas on process for new arena for NBA / NHL

  • News flash: Tom Murphy, senior vice president of corporate communications at Sprint Corp. is named to the Kansas City planning committee for the development of a new, indoor arena there. Sprint has agreed to pay up to $2.5 million annually for the arena naming rights.

    Closed door dealings, presentations stink

    The city committee that will decide who will design the arena will conduct its interviews and deliberations behind closed doors.

    “I don't want anybody to disturb the committee from paying close attention,” said Kansas City Councilman Terry Riley, one of the nine members. “We don't want anyone lobbying for one group or another. We want the best team for Kansas City.”

    Assistant City Manager Rich Noll, who also is on the committee, said the decision to bar the public did not violate the Missouri Open Meetings Law.

    “It is a working session,” he said. “There's no legislative activity going on and no public policy being addressed at that time.”

    Closed South Side Indoor Ice Rink needs attention

    If the Penguins want to have a practice facility, as they should, how about a look again into the now closed, indoor ice rink on the South Side. The rink is closed. The facility hosted Pens practices and had a rental connection when it was orginally covered. The NHL All-Stars held practices there.

    Better yet -- a swim pool

    Rather than putting in a practice ice, I'd love to see an aquatics complex within the scope of the new arena project. The Univ. of Florida has a 50-meter pool and diving towers within its basketball facility, tucked behind the stands. The spaces are not wasted around the edge of the arena.

    When we visited China, I was impressed at the ongoing use of the space along the edge of the downtown stadium. Ballroom dancing, roller skate rink, and a casual dining area was put into action along the ramps and landings of the outdoor stadium. The indoor arena in China hosted a stock market. Photos pending.

    Wasted Spaces

    Sure, PNC Park hosted a concert that featured "The Boss." Other business events occur at PNC Park from time to time, and at The Great Hall in Heinz Field. But, these are too few and too far between.

    Its great to see High School football games as part of the Rib Cookoff this weekend. Let's hold more regular events at these facilities. Why are we not playing scholastic soccer at Heinz Field on the other nights this weekend? Or, in the spring, when the demand on the field is less, we should have events with local teams.

    We have public facilities and they should be used around the clock in other uses and around the calendar with other special events.

    No comments: