Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rendell expects hockey arena deal -

Rendell expects hockey arena deal - 'I think we'll have an offer for the Penguins equivalent to what the Pirates and Steelers got,' Rendell told WTAE television Saturday.
Yes, but what did the taxpayers get? What about the Xplosion of the ABA? What about the kids in the neighborhoods who got their 32 outdoor swim pools taken away from them?

We went a year without any recreational sports for the kids in the South Side because the Market House was closed. All the staffers were fired. Yet, we had a facility. It was closed to us -- the owners -- the citizens and taxpayers.

Meanwhile, the Pens went a year and didn't play hockey -- yet they HAD a facility (the CIVIC ARENA) that they didn't own -- WE TAXPAYERS own it. Yet they wouldn't show up for work -- or there was a lockout, whatever.

We used to have 19 functional rec centers around the town -- and now, after a painful re-birth, there are much fewer with fewer programs.

How about if we draw a line in the sand -- or ice -- and say that the Penguins can get a new arena deal -- just like the Pirates and Steelers because we're going to force both the Pirates and Steelers to buy out the public interest and public money from the stadiums that they now use.

The PNC PARK and Heinz Field deals are now for sale. Make this a RENT to OWN deal.

So, Penguins -- you can build a new arena. You can build it. You can own it. Beg for the money any way you want.

The Penguins had an interest in the indoor ice rink on the South Side -- the only one in the city. And, the Penguins closed the door on us. That facility is shut down and the Penguins walked away from it.

My kids would like to go skating today. Can't.

The Penguins walked away from that facility, and the team can walk away from the Civic Arena too. Leave.

Or, fix it. The Penguins had a hand in South Pointe -- in suburban (non Allegheny County) Pittsburgh. Why wasn't that built in the city?

Perhaps the team can strike a deal with Moon Township and build a place out by the airport. Go for it.

Or, the Penguins should be a cornerstone to a deal in Hazelwood. Go talk to the nonprofit holding company that owns that land.

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