Oh my God, I’m crying!

So it looks like the North Side will be home to the first Pittsburgh casino.

My thoughts:

1.  I lunched with a member of the local panel about six months ago and we discussed which location would get the casino.  I told him I thought the South Side would be a traffic nightmare, because the South Side already IS a traffic nightmare.  I told him I thought the North Side would be odd because it would be right next to the family friendly Science Center.  I told him the Hill District would probably be best, but as he pointed out, the residents probably wouldn’t be too thrilled about it.  I guess the lesser of three evils won out.

2.  Don Barden, the leader of PITG that won the license, reportedly cried when it was anounced he won.  Yeah, making $500 kajillion a year would make me cry too.

3.  This made me laugh:

Michelle Sherman, chief financial officer for Barden Cos., also burst into tears of joy when the vote was taken. “Oh my God, I’m crying, oh my God. I’m overwhelmed. Mr. Barden is the consummate visionary and entrepreneur. This is something he deserved.”

Oh my God, I’m so over her.

4.  I for one have no idea what the appeal is to playing slot machines.  For me, going to the casinos in Niagara Falls is all about the table games.  Sitting on my ass, cute as it may be, for six straight hours and feeding a hungry machine bill after bill until my tennis elbow acts up?



  1. Sofa King
    December 20, 2006 1:43 pm

    I wonder if the fact that PITG is the only minority-controlled group of the 3 played into the Gaming Commission’s decision at all. Whether it did or not, selling out IOC is kind of selling out the Penguins…especially since Barden seems like he could care less about having a hockey team in town

    Let’s hope Boy Wonder Luke Ravenstahl can step in and save the day…

  2. Judge Rufus Peckham
    December 20, 2006 1:46 pm

    Re: paragraph one — very perceptive, PittGirl. The Gaming Commission ignored my two “endorsements”: First for Isle of Capri, and then when I changed my mind, Harrahs — http://carbolicsmokeblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/gaming-commission-ignores-both-of-our.html

  3. Awescom
    December 20, 2006 1:49 pm

    As a North Side, resident, I actually heave a sigh of relief. The Hill District could at least get it together to oppose something — we needed good swift kick to help our neighborhoods, and I think we knew it.

    Check out the Pittsburgh Comet, now liveblogging the fallout of Majestic Star Victory Day.

  4. Woy
    December 20, 2006 3:15 pm

    To be a true degenerate, you absolutely have to go for the table games.

  5. theburgher
    December 20, 2006 6:30 pm

    “Let’s hope Boy Wonder Luke Ravenstahl can step in and save the day …”

    Since he’s part if the reason we’re in this jam, I don’t know if I’d call Plan B saving the day.

    Do you really think the Pens will pas up a free arena and pay $128.5 million to pay for a new arena. If plan B works there is going to have to be a lot more public money involved.

  6. Lino Gunn
    December 20, 2006 11:54 pm

    So the NHL and the Pens will give more lip service to packing up their pucks and getting out of town, so my thought is ; See Ya ! Their roof never worked correctly anyway.

    Now we go back into the tit for tat about using public $ for private enterprise.

  7. SteelerTribute
    December 21, 2006 6:34 am

    Rich Casino Guys: “We’ll build you a free arena. It will bring in all kinds of huge events, will save your hockey team, and best of all, it will be 100% free.”

    Pittsburgh: “No thanks, we’re good.”

    I hate this town so much right now.

  8. pittgirl
    December 21, 2006 9:24 am

    Steeler Tribute, I may not know what I’m talking about, but it wasn’t “this town” that made this decision. It was State folks. But then again, I’ve been away for 10 days so maybe I am wrong on this?

  9. SteelerTribute
    December 21, 2006 9:27 am

    Luke and Danny Boy made no effort at all to endorse the IOC plan, so I blame them just as much as the state.

  10. save_the_rustbelt
    December 21, 2006 10:33 am

    Barden has a real interesting history in Detroit, where corruption is a daily occurence (although not as refined as in Chicago).

    Good luck.

  11. awescom
    December 21, 2006 10:49 am

    The only problem with accepting a 100% private equity “free” arena is that the body politic doesn’t earn a seat at the board. If the city and state pay a share, they get a share, and a seat a the table. Which is what so discouraging to the Repub – um, to team owners and Pgh First.

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  13. Sofa King
    December 21, 2006 2:36 pm

    Cripes, Mario’s already talking about packing up and leaving.

    With the fact that the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins all supported IOC’s plan, along with city and county lawmakers, I wouldn’t be surprised if Barden wasn’t greasing some wheels in Harrisburg to get his plan through. I really don’t think that this North Side casino is in the best interest of the city, as the North Side is already seeing signs of life from the stadiums and other developments, whereas Downtown can still use a shot in the arm, a shot that would possibly have been provided by the IOC casino.

    My first impressions of Barden is that he is pursuing his interests without any concern for the city or the local populi. Even if IOC’s main purpose for the arena was a PR stunt, at least they paid lip service to caring about the region’s welfare. I think the thing that Barden needs to consider is that if the Pens pack up and leave town, then there may be some negative repercussions with respect to the public image of his casino, as people will see his lack of support as part of the reason they left.

  14. Mr. Mon
    December 21, 2006 3:26 pm

    Everyone assumes that IOC even had the money to build that “free” arena. They would have had to use revenue generated from their “temporary” casino to even build the thing.

    And just think how nice a giant tent would look sitting in front of Crawford-Roberts. Gosh that would have been pretty!

    Seems to me that the GCB did their jobs and picked a site based upon its merits (most revenue with fewest negative impacts on the neighborhoods) and not on give-a-way’s and potential empty promises like arenas, new housing, etc… etc…

  15. Incognito
    December 21, 2006 6:48 pm

    Don Barden is black. Don Barden has Jerome Bettis and Gladys Bettis and Smokey Robinson as investors.
    Don Barden was the only minority that applied for any of the slots licences in the state.
    You knew that since the Station Square sight would’ve caused an uproar because of Fast Eddie Rendell’s cronies. The PGCB figured there was no way they could give it to Station Square so they did the next best thing to piss off the city and caved in to the black community.
    The residents of The Hill didn’t want a casino in their neighborhood. It might interfere with the crack houses although it would have helped the prostitutes and their pimps on the Hill.
    So there is Don Barden the lone minority who also promises to take care of his brotha’s and sista’s on the Hill.
    I beleive it was a racist decision.
    The PCGB said fuck Mario and fuck a $292,000,000 arena for free.

  16. Sofa Kind
    December 22, 2006 12:04 am

    “The residents of The Hill didn’t want a casino in their neighborhood. It might interfere with the crack houses although it would have helped the prostitutes and their pimps on the Hill.”

    Amen to that…amen to that.

    Why is everyone so damned concerned with “Saving The Hill” now, anyways? Sure, it was an influential and historical neighborhood…….70 years ago. For the better part of the past 5 decades it has been nothing but a cancer on the face of our city and a poster child for the failings of inner city culture.

  17. Mia
    December 22, 2006 2:35 pm

    I heard an interview on one of the radio stations Thursday. They were interviewing young Luke over the whole decision, and Plan B…I didn’t hear the whole interview, but I did hear at least 2 “moving forward”s in about 10 minutes. Unfortunately I was driving so was unable to partake in the drinking game…

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