If you live in Pittsburgh and want to keep the Penguins in town, your best hope might be a slot casino. Even though the team won’t directly run the proposed slot parlor, its profits may help pay for a new arena. From the Post-Gazette:
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ partner in a proposed $1 billion development at the site of Mellon Arena is willing to put up $290 million to pay for a new, 18,000-seat home for the National Hockey League team.
The Penguins’ development, which would secure the team’s future in Pittsburgh, is contingent on winning a license for the city’s slot machine casino.
Besides construction of a casino and a replacement for the aging arena, oldest in the NHL, the development would include a mix of offices, residential units and retail space.
The Penguins will team with a yet-unidentified gambling operator and with Nationwide Realty Investors of Columbus, Ohio., to handle development.
As part of its application for the Pittsburgh slots license, the gaming operator intends to pledge the money to build a new arena. It also would finance construction of the casino for 3,000 slot machines, with room to expand to 5,000.
The Penguins will not be the applicant for the state license, nor will the team take any profits from the slots casino. Once a new arena is built, it plans to turn ownership over to the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority.
I think the team should go all out and have current players serving as casino hosts, welcoming players and the like.
As is usually the case, money trumps everything. If pro football didn’t have such lucrative TV revenues to fall back on, I’m sure that the NFL would be just as keen to use gambling to help pay for its stadiums.
There isn’t a word about connections between gambling and sports being inappropriate now, is there?