Lucy and that football
And a minor point in the big scheme of things... but I see the idea that some of the budget hole can be filled by auctioning of stuff from the Civic Arena. I hate to ask, but would not proceeds from any such sale need to go toward the debts of the Sports and Exhibition Authority(SEA) which is the owner of the arena? Not like they don't have money issues of their own. The difference I guess is that they have some dibs on money from Harrisburg that the city can't quite get a piece of.
Speaking of the SEA. I note that not only the SEA, but even the interminable Stadium Authority have their own Wikipedia entries authored again by prolific wiki author Blargh29. Whomever that is they know their stuff. The SEA entry has a great line at the top saying: "Not to be confused with Stadium Authority of the City of Pittsburgh." How many folks in town can distinguish the two and the policy implicatons that follow?
Some final thoughts. Time will tell if this is all a brief spasm or if city/ICA relations have come full circle to where they were in the beginning. If you want to dig into the budget revenues a bit, I had put up this interactive graphic of the city's 2009 budgeted revenues in Manyeyes. And connected to everything are the finances at the casino. Revenues down there have clearly settled into a range. No joke how everything comes back to the revenue generating capactiy of the casino. Harrisburg has forced the universities to wait for money only to flow from the prospective table games; the SEA depends on casino payments to fund the arena bonds; as bad as the city's finances seem to be now and into the future, they depend ever more on ongoing payments from the casino directly into city coffers on top of everything else. and finally the state, which the city will look to as a last resort, is stuck backing up payments to the SEA from the casino to pay for the bonds building the arena. Got all that? So everything is connected in all of these debates. I sense the potential for a cascade failure.