After the initial sales pitch from AEG and Kansas City Officials, it looks as if the Penguins Ownership Group had gotten enough juice to force the City of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Officials into a new deal. That deal has taken another hit today as Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle notified Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, Allegheny County chief executive Dan Onorato, Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that talks are at an impasse and they have no choice except aggressively exploring relocation.
The Penguins have declared an impasse and will aggressively explore moving the franchise to a new city. Kansas City is the favourite to land the Penguins as they have a brand new arena that is missing a tenant.
“Unfortunately, we still don’t have a deal and are faced with mounting uncertainty that an agreement can be reached in a time frame that is realistic for our organization,” the letter states. ”Therefore, we have no choice but to declare an impasse and to notify NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that we will aggressively explore relocation.”
“A project of this scope, with so many complex issues, can ill afford further delays that add more risk and more uncertainty. The risk has been magnified by what we perceive as a lack of collaboration from the public sector in the negotiations.”
“Our good faith efforts have not produced a deal, however, and have only added more anxiety to what we thought at best was a risky proposition for us moving forward.’”
I said before that Kansas City is an attractive option for the Penguins given the deal offered and the new state-of-the-art arena they offer for immediate occupancy. Any deal with Pittsburgh would involve at least three more seasons in an old run-down arena. While this id guaranteed to anger Pittsburgh fans and illicit anger and irrational statements (as I experienced stating Kansas City made a good offer), it may be time to come to grips with an NHL that isnâ€™t in Pittsburgh. Its not a done deal yet and this could be another attempt to force the City and State to deal to keep the Penguins, but it is not looking good. Just be ready to welcome the Kansas City Penguins and donâ€™t say I didnâ€™t warn you.
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