'Sensitive' buyer in KC?

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

The man hoping to accommodate a Pittsburgh Penguins move to Kansas City, Mo., insists he is not a "vulture."

"We're very sensitive to what's going on in Pittsburgh as we weren't dealt a fair hand 30 years ago when the Kansas City Scouts left," said businessman Paul McGannon. "We're not looking to take anyone's team away. Rather, we hope to get one on our own merits."

McGannon, fronting a 100-strong civic group in K.C. called NHL21, has an ace in the form of an 18,500-seat arena set to open in a year. All luxury boxes already are sold.

In Pittsburgh, they're still not past the talking stage on a new facility to replace Mellon Arena, oldest in the NHL. McGannon also is familiar with Toronto-born Sam Fingold, the businessman who signed a letter of intent to buy the Penguins last month from Mario Lemieux and Co., for an estimated $175 million US.

Fingold says his first choice is to stay in Pittsburgh, but he's in the same fix as Lemieux regarding a new rink. Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., says it will foot most costs of an estimated $300-million arena, but only if it gets a coveted slots' licence from the Pennsylvania state government.

With the NHL unlikely to expand in the near future, K.C.'s only hope is to lure an existing franchise.


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