Sports Montage: The Sports Blog That Strikes First, Strikes Hard, No Mercy “I’ve never heard of a government turning down $290 million of private money to build a public facility." - Mario LemieuxThe Wabash Tunnel is a 'public facility.' The new arena is NOT a public facility.
The Wabash Tunnel was built with federal money but is owned now by PAT, a different public agency.
PAT owns the tunnel and wants to unload it. PAT does NOT want to maintain the tunnel. PAT knows that ownership has many downsides that can be long-term, significant and expensive.
Maintaining a new arena isn't on the list of top priorities for good government. We've got schools, courts, roads, and matters of democracy to attend to in this region. Watching millionairs skate and brawl on ice isn't high on the list when it comes to core activities.
If the Penguins want to be a good neighbor and a good corporate citizen in Pittsburgh -- the Penguins should invest in its own property and have control of its ownership.
US Steel owned the land and the mills to produce its products.
UPMC owns buildings and hospitals to employ its health care workers and care for patients.
Even the Salvation Army demanded ownership rights to land for the building of its Kroc Recreation Centers.
Get rid of SMG. Get rid of any and all hurdles to making its own opportunities flourish.
The key to this discussion isn't to look back ten years. The key is to look forward ten years. They key is to look forward 20 and 25 years too.