Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Swann backs casino company's arena plan

Sorry, Mr. Swann.
Swann backs casino company's arena plan ... and it's a win for the taxpayers because it doesn't cost the taxpayers a cent,' Swann said.
The building of the new arena with the windfall from the once-in-a-lifetime selling of an under-valued gambling license to an out-of-state operator can ONLY be a WIN for the taxpayers IF they BUILD IT and KEEP IT. The new arena should NOT be given back to the taxpayers nor to any government authority. Let's insist that the private owners insure, operate, program, promote, and maintain the new arena.

For example, the Steelers are putting in more than 700 new seats and a new lounge area at the public-owned HEINZ Field. The taxpayers are paying for a LARGE PORTION of the cost of that facility upgrade. Citizen taxpayers are paying -- as this enhancement is NOT being paid for fully by the Steelers.

So, don't you dare be so short sighted as to say that this is a WIN for the taxpayers unless you amend your thinking to include strong statements that the new arena should be held in private hands for the future.

And while we are making statements about sports facilities, I think it is now prudent, given the Steelers XL glory and the Pirates hosting MLB's All-Star Game to have those two sports venues SOLD to the teams. The teams should buy both PNC Park and Heinz Field -- now.

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