Both the Trib and the PG are reporting that state and local officials have reached a deal to keep the Penguins in town. The state will contribute $7.5 million annually toward construction of a new arena (remember, Ed Rendell wants to raise the state sales tax) and Don Barden will contribute $7.5 million per year from casino revenues. The casino money doesn't come from the bottom of Barden's heart. The state required licensees to demonstrate that they would return something to their communities. (The state funds apparently will come via casino revenues as well.)
That's $15 million every year that could have gone toward fixing roads. Or funding public transit. Or repairing the region's crumbling water and sewage systems. Things that would have actually made this place more livable. Not to mention that the new arena will be owned by the Sports and Exhibition Authority, so no property taxes will be collected, but all revenues will go to the Penguins.
So perhaps now we can put away all our talk about how much Mario has done for the Penguins, and for Pittsburgh. Because he's been paid back. And we're all getting stuck with the tab.