Official Home of the Pittsburgh Penguins: STATEMENT FROM PENGUINS OWNERS MARIO LEMIEUX AND RON BURKLE best ensure the economic health and long-term future of the Penguins franchiseDear Luke, Dan and Ed,
The line above, from the Pen's web site, is your hook. That's your focus. Mario wants economic health. Mario wants long-term prosperity.
Staying in Pittsburgh is going to deliver more prosperity for the Pens and its owners.
Mario wants an "upside." He wants ROI (a Return on Investment). Mario has a business.
Furthermore, Mario doesn't trust you. Nor should he. Backslapping isn't going to work here as the opportunities have soured.
Tell Mario he can own and operate the Convention Center and we'll do a deal to get a new venue next to the Convention Center in The Strip District.
Tell Mario we'll fit a new venue on the North Shore. Fans in the region, Mario's customers, are familiar with the North Side venue for sporting facilities. Put the hockey arena on the footprint of the proposed, state subsidized outdoor concert venue that the Steelers wanted. The Pens and Steelers can cooperate. Besides, the Steelers don't like the new slots parlor. They'll like the Pens.
Tell Mario we'll give him plenty of land out by the airport and the new highways there. He can build a Penguins Village, like an Olympic Village.
Tell Mario he can build out on Neville Island, near another highway, near customers.
Mario's land purchase of recent years in the Civic Arena's neighborhood can be leveraged into the package as Don Barden said he'd devote money to The Hill.
When we talk about the big picture -- getting long term economic health for the franchise -- there are plenty of great options that offer a much better situation than re-building in the same area of the city.
My other post from earlier today offering him games elsewhere and cooperation with the civic arena can be like the cherry of your discussions.
Preview of a welcome from Luke to Mario:
Hi Mario. Hope Kansas City's trip went well. How about if the Pens play 10 games a year in KC until you get to move into your own brand-new venue in Allegheny County. Let's draw up a more flexible lease for Mellon Arena for next year so you can play some of the home games in other cities in 2007-2008 season.
Take them off their game, but don't stray from their goal, profits.