Massachusetts developer wants to buy the Penguins and either keep the hockey team in the city or move them to Hartford, Conn., where he is trying to get state officials to build a new arena, a newspaper reported Friday.I have to admit, the thought of Sidney Crosby and the Pens playing in Hartford has a certain appeal for the hockey-inclined. Scratch that: it would be Hockey Heaven!
Lawrence Gottesdiener told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he owns a great deal of property in Hartford, so moving the team there makes sense for him.
Late last year, Gottesdiener told Connecticut officials that he had a plan to bring an NHL team to the city if they would help him build a new 16,000-seat arena in Hartford, where his company, Northland Investment Corp., of Newton, Mass., owns about $500 million worth of real estate. (AP)
But should we head down this road? Would the economic benefit (and there would be one) and morale boost to the city and the state be enough to offset the cost of building an arena and the infrastructure to go with it?
I have no idea. If I had to guess, I'd think that Gov. Rell has even less interest in Hartford hockey than Rowland did. Connecticut politicians are probably a little wary of major league sports teams since the Patriots fiasco, too. Spending huge amounts of public money on new stadium construction is far less in favor than it used to be.
Those things combined with the fact that the NHL very badly wanted out of Hartford in 1997, and wants the Penguins to stay in Pittsburgh, suggests that this is unlikely to happen. But I'll keep an eye on it anyway. Who knows what could happen?
"Developer wants to buy Penguins for possible move to Hartford." Associated Press 7 April, 2006.