Monday, March 05, 2007

Penguins Update

Sunday was a good sports day as I was able to watch George Mason defeat Old Dominion to advance to the CAA Conference Championship and the Pittsburgh Penguins win in a shoot-out over the Philadelphia Flyers. After the Penguins game, I called my brother to celebrate the victory and we briefly talked about the Penguins and the playoffs. Then today, I read this article in the Post-Gazette stating that “the Penguins have declared an impasse in negotiations with government officials over construction of a new arena and will aggressively explore relocating the team to a new city.” Even though there has been talk of the Penguins leaving Pittsburgh for months, I always figured that the team and the city/county/state would work out a deal. I am hopeful that this is just 11th hour posturing by the Penguins to get a better deal, but what if it’s not and they really are preparing to leave?

If the team really is leaving, the timing of the announcement is interesting. 12-game playoff packages went on sale to the general public today. Fans must place a $200 non-refundable deposit per seat toward Full Season Plans for 2007-08. Therefore, season ticket-holders already had to pay this $200 non-refundable deposit. Would the season ticket-holders have paid this if today’s announcement happened two weeks ago? I don’t know the exact numbers, but let’s say there are 10,000 partial- and full-season ticket-holders. That’s a nice $2 million for the team even if they don’t make the playoffs or move to Kansas City. Although Howard Baldwin and city/county/state officials all deserve some blame if the Penguins leave town, the Penguins’ greed should not be overlooked.

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