Sunday, January 31, 2010

More on the Lemieux Bid

It has been the talk of the town for the past 24-hours. Ever since Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-gazette broke the news of a meeting that occurred four months ago between Mario Lemieux, Ron Burkle, and Bob Nutting to have the Lemieux Group to buy the Pittsburgh Pirates, fans have been buzzing and demanding that the Buccos be sold.

To their credit, management, sans Nutting, went in front of what could only be described as a hostile crowd, Saturday afternoon at PirateFest and addressed the rumors of selling the franchise, the potential for the lowest payroll for the start of the 2010 season, and of course, Nutting and other management types, pocketing money made by the franchise. As mentioned yesterday, the Pirates are taking the stance that the meeting was nothing more than an opportunity to discuss other things. This morning on WTAE-TV, they said that despite being at the Penguins practice yesterday, Lemieux did not comment on the meeting or the offer to buy the Pirates.

I had a lengthly discussion this morning with a friend of mine who is a die-hard and dedicated Penguins fan. So much so, he nearly cried when they won the Stanley Cup last year. He was also a season ticket holder in the early years of PNC Park, and a dedicated Pirates fan. He made the point that this sell needs to happen, and that not only would it benefit the Pirates, but there would also be benefits for the Penguins.

One of the biggest potential benefits for both teams would be the fact that they could, esentially, leave FSN after their respective contracts expires and create their own sports network, taking in 100% of the profit for each team during their respective seasons, with some obvious overlap during the end of the NHL season and start of the MLB season.

The Pirates benefit with the Lemieux Group heading the franchise and seeing season ticket sales instantly skyrocket. Given his history with the city of Pittsburgh and with a blueprint similar to what happened with the Penguins, fans are going to jump on board. Instantly, the Pirates will have a license to basically print their own money and sign whom ever they feel would bring championships to the team.

But, as it was mentioned at PirateFest and has been said several times over the past few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates are not for sale.

Will all the hype be over nothing though? I highly doubt it. My prediction is that in the near future, you will NOT see the Nuttings sell the Pirates to the Lemieux Group. Instead, I foresee a business deal being struck between the two team owners, creating their own TV network for their respective franchises.

Let's Go Bucs!

No comments:

Post a Comment