Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh blink

Some time today, maybe even within the next hour, official word will come out of the Steel City that, indeed, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be staying put for the next 30 years, thanks to a $290 million deal that promises a new arena in Uptown in time for the 2009-10 season.

At the risk of sounding too smug, I'd like to think that this posting, published a day before the hush-hush meeting in either Philadelphia or New Jersey that led to this deal, played a vital role in the negotiations. Just kidding. But, hey, you never know who reads Hound Central 2.0.

I was heartened to read in media reports out of Pittsburgh that the Penguins are chipping in on the arena construction and related costs. I've never been a big fan of taxpayer-financed stadiums of any sort, so it's my most-likely minority and illogical belief that teams must perform to a certain level or be forced to pay back public monies.

In this case, I'd make the Penguins, given the abundance of top-shelf young talent, guarantee a Stanley Cup within five years of the arena's opening. If the team fails, the organization is on the hook for the public portion of all costs.

That's not too much to ask, is it?



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