View Full Version : Cuban wants a piece of the Penguins (NHL)

06-27-2006, 10:42 PM
What do you think this means for KC, if anything?


Cuban joins financier's bid for Penguins
By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer
June 27, 2006

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Mark Cuban is known for baiting NBA officials, and Dan Marino is the most prolific passer in NFL history. But the Pittsburgh natives now want to expand into a different sport in their hometown -- hockey.

The two have joined with a New York City financier in trying to buy the NHL's Penguins from Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux's group, which is selling the two-time Stanley Cup champions even as the team seeks a new arena deal.

The group of prospective Penguins owners is headed by Andrew Murstein, the president of Medallion Financial Corp., a company that finances New York City taxicab medallions and originates consumer loans for recreational vehicles. Also included are principals in Pittsburgh-based Walnut Capital, a real estate management and development company.

Walnut Capital CEO Gregg Perelman recently teamed with Cuban to buy a nine-story downtown Pittsburgh office building. Cuban, who grew up in suburban Pittsburgh, is the billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner whose holdings include a movie production firm and high-definition TV channel.

Adding Cuban and Marino is expected to strengthen the group's estimated $150 million bid not only financially but perception-wise. Neither Cuban nor Marino have any interest in moving the Penguins from Pittsburgh -- Cuban has made it a condition of his participation -- even though the team has yet to land a deal to build an arena to replace 45-year-old Mellon Arena.

Murstein was in Dallas on Tuesday, presumably to meet with Cuban about his involvement in the group. In the past, Murstein expressed interest in buying two NHL franchises, the Blues and Ducks, and the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.

Todd Reidbord, Walnut Capital's president, said recently his group was the only one interested in buying the Penguins that has fully committed to staying in Pittsburgh. At least four other groups have expressed interest in the team, which is expected to be sold before the start of the NHL season in October.

Lemieux's ownership group, which also includes California businessman Ron Burkle, bought the team in federal bankruptcy court in 1999 -- partly to protect the nearly $30 million in deferred money owed Lemieux on his contract. Lemieux's group has since paid back all money owed by the club before its bankruptcy filing, a rarity during such procedures.

The uncertainty over the Penguins' arena status has clouded their future in Pittsburgh. Lemieux's group has partnered with Isle of Capri Casinos, which has agreed to build a $290 million arena if it wins the solitary license that will be awarded for a slot machine casino in the city.

However, Isle of Capri is not seen as the favorite, and two other groups seeking the slots license -- Harrah's and Majestic Star Casino -- have not pledged full arena funding.

Gov. Ed Rendell has asked those two bidders to give $7.5 million a year toward an arena, with the Penguins contributing $8.5 million from the start and an additional $4 million per year, including $1.1 million in naming rights. The Penguins have declined to sign off on the deal, as the Isle of Capri bid would not require the team to make a financial contribution toward replacing the NHL's oldest arena.

Murstein revealed the addition of Cuban and Marino in his group in an interview Tuesday with Pittsburgh radio station WEAE, an ESPN affiliate. Cuban did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press, but confirmed his involvement in an e-mail to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Cuban was interested in buying into Lemieux's group in 1999, but declined to accept a role that would not include input in the team's day-to-day operation. Marino, the former University of Pittsburgh and Miami Dolphins star quarterback, expressed interest in buying into the Pittsburgh Pirates in the mid 1990s but never did so. Cuban also is interested in buying the Pirates at some point, but the current ownership has given no sign of wanting to sell.

06-27-2006, 10:43 PM
What do you think this means for KC, if anything?

Nothing.....absolutely nothing.

06-27-2006, 10:47 PM
Nothing.....absolutely nothing.

Yep, nothing at all.

06-27-2006, 10:49 PM
Yep, nothing at all.

I didn't think so either, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't not getting something.

My biggest thing is being in Springfield, I don't hear crap about this stuff, so when I see something like this, it can't help but make me nervous, even when the current ownership doesn't show any interest to sell.

Moooo, who worries about everything

06-27-2006, 10:57 PM
**** Springfield.

06-27-2006, 11:08 PM
Yep, nothing at all.
Why would that be the case? You both seem to feel that with certainty. I can't disagree, but I don't have any idea myself. Has there been talk between the Anchutz group and Cuban?

06-27-2006, 11:38 PM
The guy who wants to move the team to KC is Sam Fingold.

Thankfully, Murstein got Cuban to be a minority investor and they will up their bid. Things are looking very good for the Murstein group. Today is a great day, a huge step has been taken to ensure that the Penguins stay in Pittsburgh. And the team has hinted in different ways that there will be somewhat of a hometown discount applied. In addition, there have been reports that if an arena is being built in Pittsburgh (even with the Plan B program if (when) the Penguins partner, Isle of Capri, doesnt win the license) there will be a 50 million surcharge if the new owner wants to move.

I am very excited about this Murstein/Cuban group. Hopefully they stay in the Burgh.

06-28-2006, 06:42 AM
Cuban tried to buy the Pens before buying the Mavs, if I remember correctly. I think this hurts KC's chances, since he's a Pittsburgh guy, and would keep the team there. It builds a little more support.
Plus, who's to say he doesn't just drop the coin himself for a new arena?

06-28-2006, 07:21 AM
I wish Cuban would buy the Royals from David Glass.

06-28-2006, 07:54 AM
I think this spells the end for our hopes. I can't see Pittsburgh fumbling away a storied sports franchise to KC with Cuban and Marino (hometown icons) wanting to be involved. If George Brett and (I hate to say it ) Lamar Hunt wanted to buy a KC team to keep them in town, it would happen.


06-28-2006, 08:42 AM
It is hard to say, without a new arena the Penguins are severely hindered as the company running that arena is screwing them with the worst contract in the league. I doubt even the new contract helped them much. This surely doesn't help us much, but we will not know anything for a while.

06-28-2006, 10:29 AM
If George Brett and (I hate to say it ) Lamar Hunt wanted to buy a KC team to keep them in town, it would happen.
How soon they forget...Brett, Watson & Hunt wanted to buy the Royals at one time:


Baseball owners voted 29-1 in September to table the bid, saying they wanted the team to pursue other alternatives. Herman said no reason for the rejection was given.

06-28-2006, 11:08 AM
Unfortunately George Brett just isn't rich enough to buy and run a pro baseball franchise. When you're not a billionaire, how are you gonna spend money on a team? And isn't that the point in the first place? Miles Prentice, for all the play he gets now, said at the time he wasn't gonna raise the payroll much higher than $20 mil. He couldn't afford to. If a rich billionaire wants to buy the team, fine. This franchise was on sale for about 7 years and no local investors stepped forth. Lamar's bid was a joke.

This is not defending David Glass, he has mismanaged this team and hopefully Moore is a step towards correcting that. Time will tell.

As far as Cuban goes, good. I'd prefer to see the NBA in KC. He's previously stated he has no interest in the Royals or KC...

06-29-2006, 06:53 AM
Would Marino take ownership, only to rescind a week later?