Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lemieux Group In Talks with Pittsburgh Pirates

A while ago, the Calgary Flames had opened up a buisness relationship with their city's CFL franchise Calgary Stampeders. Following that, the ownership of several other franchises have also invested in other sporting clubs with enough success that it gave the Penguins current ownership group Lemieux Group, LP. an idea to meet the Pittsburgh Pirates owners about creating a synergistic relationship with cross-promotional branding.

But as the Pirates fans watch the baseball team struggle in the city, the Penguins owners have caused a little excitement that the group offered an undisclosed sum of money to the Nuttings to just buy the team outright.
Sources on the Penguins' side last night described the offer made by Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Burkle as "very serious," without divulging a dollar figure, and said they remain interested in following up.
But the Nuttings (great name, eh?) turned down the offer insisting that the Pirates weren't for sale. It is speculative that the Nuttings are still enjoying the trappings of profit from the intentionally low salaried major league baseball franchise.

Speaking as a frustrated and embittered Pirates supporter, it would be great for Mario Lemieux to own the Pirates and would vastly improve the struggling team. But leave it to
According to sources on the Penguins side, the meeting happened four months ago at the Penguins' front-office headquarters in Chatham Center, Uptown. Mr. Lemieux, Mr. Burkle and Mr. Nutting were present, and the intent of the meeting was for the Penguins owners to offer to buy the Pirates. Mr. Burkle made a financial offer.

According to the Pirates, the purpose of the meeting was about another matter, and no serious discussion about an offer or sale took place.
The deal itself would raise several key issues about two sports teams with one owner. If the Lemieux Group would own the Pirates, would the Penguins salaries tighten or pressure on ticket price raises to cover losses in other areas?

The Pirates were an afterthought over the city-wide celebration of the "City of Champions" during the summer of 2009. My take on it is that it only further cemented the reputation of the Pirates as a losing franchise thereby losing an entire generation of fans in the city.

[Via: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
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