SBD/Issue 202/Franchises

Potential Penguins Sale Stopped Due To Relocation Stance

Canadian Group Pulls
Out Of Penguins Bidding

The Penguins were “ready to sell” to a Canadian group that offered at least $175M, but the bidder “backed out over the weekend based on what it learned about the NHL’s stance [towards relocation] and the state’s ‘Plan B’ for arena funding,” according to sources cited by Shelly Anderson of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The decision leaves four bidders remaining for the franchise. Any buyer of the team “will be obligated to join the Penguins’ agreement” with Isle of Capri casino, which will donate $290M to a new arena if it is granted the slots license for the city of Pittsburgh. The Canadian group “wanted options if the Isle of Capri deal falls through or Plan B didn’t seem suitable,” but it discovered the NHL “probably would have blocked a move.” NHL Group VP/Media Relations Frank Brown said that the league bylaws contain wording “that defines many conditions that need to be exhausted before a team would be allowed to move.” Anderson notes the league “probably would not approve relocation as long as there is an active plan for a new arena.” The four remaining bidders are “more willing to work with Plan B if the Isle of Capri does not get the slots license,” though at least one group “might be holding out hope that if Plan B falls apart the team could still be moved” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/18).

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Franchises, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins

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