Penguins Out of Pittsburgh?

It looks like the Penguins’ days in Pittsburgh are numbered.

On Monday, Penguins ownership confirmed the notion that they were actively seeking to relocate the franchise. Ownership and state leaders could not end up with a solid plan and continued to reach stalemate after stalemate, causing owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux to throw up their hands and say that they can “do no more” in a letter to Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Lemiex and Burkle claimed to agree to commit $120 million over the next thirty years towards the cost of building an arena, but government officials want upwards of $4 million.

Pittsburgh owners had initially cut a deal with the Isle of Capri Casinos to build an arena at no cost to the owners or to taxpayers, but the catch was that the Isle of Capri was to be granted a state license to build slots casinos in Pittsburgh. When that license was awarded to another casino, the Isle of Capri dropped their offer and Penguins owners scrambled to find another one.

Now it appears that all of that scrambling isn’t going to go anywhere. Lemieux and Burkle, as a result, have penned a letter to NHL Commish Gary Bettman stating their plan to “aggressively explore relocation”.

Now only time will tell as to where the Penguins will end up and how the storied franchise, currently playing in the Mellon Arena (built in 1961), will write the next chapter in their history.

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