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KC makes move on Penguins


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K.C. makes first move to lure Penguins

Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive officer of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and the president of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, made his strongest comments to date about the possibility of the Penguins being the anchor tenant for the Sprint Center, an 18,500-seat downtown arena his company will manage when it opens in the fall of 2007.

"If Pittsburgh doesn't have an arena deal done a year from now, they're gone," Leiweke told the newspaper. "The Pittsburgh Penguins can be the Kansas City Penguins, no question about it. That team here ... it will sell out every ticket in advance, end of story. That team will be a huge instant home run here. And that kid, Sidney Crosby, is unbelievable."

KC Star article:

Kansas City Penguins? (free registration required or skip that crap with http://bugmenot.com/)

My thoughts:

With a new arena Pittsburgh is a better market on papar than Kansas City, by about $3,500,000,000 a franchise. Without a new arena, Kansas City pencils in slightly higher than Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh's problems are deeper than KC however. Houston has an arena, interested owner, & is the largest market without the NHL. OKC could be a player for the NHL too if they don't keep the Hornets. OKC is probably the best minor league hockey city in America & they are proving with the Hornets they can support major professional sports. Also Portland & Seattle are potential relocation options too. Portland has the arena & the unsaturated sports market however they lack a potential owner now that Allen no longer controls the Rose Garden & has the job of filling the rest of the venue's dates. Seattle doesn't have an NHL venue currently however the Tacoma Dome is up for remodel & the Sonics have been hinting at a new Key Arnea deal or new arena outright.

Basically if Pittsburgh builds an arena, there is no question the team is safe. If not, there is no guarantee they stick around.

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Cuban has enough money to build his own arena if it got to that. The guy is Pittsburgh crazy, he'd take it as a personal insult if the Pens left.

btw the Pens have threatened to move every third year since 1972, portland, kc, cleveland, houston, seattle etc. Heck even after they got the cup Eddie DeBartolo (49er man) got caught on an open mic stating he had to unload the team probably to an out-of-towner . . . the three year period that the Pirates or Pens don't threaten to move is the time to worry. ;)

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