A few recent arena developments that didn’t warrant their own news items:
A New Jersey judge has ruled that the city of Newark has the right to redirect rent payments from the Port Authority to the Newark Housing Authority, which plans to use them to pay for a new Devils arena. Opponents say they plan to appeal.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell says he’ll announce on Thursday his Plan B for funding a new Pittsburgh Penguins arena, if the preferred method – giving a slots parlor license to a developer who will build an arena with the proceeds – falls through. No details yet, though Rendell said the Penguins would not have to put up “a substantial amount” while Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said he hoped taxpayer costs would be “probably minimal.” Do I hear “Not me”?
The Oklahoman reports that New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn has a “handshake agreement” to sell 49% of the franchise to an Oklahoma City investor group; Shinn’s lawyer denied the report, charging that “that story was put out there by Oklahoma investors to probably have somewhat of a chilling effect on the New Orleans investors.” The assumption is that the team, currently playing most of its games in Oklahoma City in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, would move there permanently if local investors buy in; but with the team’s lease requiring that it play in the New Orleans Arena through 2012 if it’s in playable condition, that could be difficult no matter how sweet a deal Oklahoma City throws at them.