Time for Ravenstahl to Show What He is Worth

There is a big-time Democratic mayoral primary coming up in May and the current occupant of the office needs to prove to the city of Pittsburgh that he is more than just the accidental mayor. One opportunity to prove his medal is heating up as I type. The Pittsburgh Penguins could easily become the Kansas City Penguins if Ravenstahl (as well as Onorato and Rendell) don’t come up with an arena deal quick.

The Penguins may accelerate talks with officials in Kansas City sometime next week if they aren’t able to soon conclude negotiations in Pittsburgh on a new arena deal, a source close to the team said today.

However, even if the team stepped up those efforts, it does not mean it would end negotiations with state and local politicians on a deal here, the source stressed. Talks would proceed simultaneously on both fronts.

The Penguins are facing a soft 30-day deadline, one that expires this weekend, in providing an answer to Kansas City officials. Representatives in that city are offering the team free use of the $276 million Sprint Center next season, no construction costs, and half of the building revenues.

I know I have come out against a new arena in the past but I will play flip-flopper this time around. While this city is certainly more than any outsider would ever give it credit for, it is also teetering on the brink of disaster and the only thing that is going to fix it is a mayor with a serious pair of balls. The Penguins belong in Pittsburgh, period. If the leaders of the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh fail to keep them here then they deserve to find themselves new jobs and no amount of fund raising is going to keep the Democrats of Pittsburgh from nominating Bill Peduto as their choice for mayor come May.

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