City Flavor To Penguins Bids
Report: Fingold Has Top Offer
July 23, 2006 -- Staff And Wire Reports

Two developers with ties to Hartford have emerged as the leading bidders for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday that Sam Fingold, who operates Kenyon Investments in Hartford, is the leading bidder and could sign a letter of intent within days. Sources told the Post-Gazette that Fingold's figure is around $175 million.

A source told the paper that another bidder, believed to be Lawrence Gottesdiener, may still attempt to outbid Fingold. Gottesdiener's Northland Investment Corp. has more than $500 million invested in downtown Hartford.

A source told The Courant that the bidding "is a two-horse race." Fingold has said he is not interested in bringing an NHL team to Hartford, but that has remained Gottesdiener's goal.

Neither would comment Saturday.

"There may be a time in the future," Fingold said. "But for now, I'm not talking about anything."

A spokesman for Northland also declined comment.

"Given that we are in the midst of the bidding process, it would be inappropriate to comment at this time," Chuck Coursey said.

There were two other bidders for the Penguins. A group led by New York businessman Andrew Murstein, and including Mark Cuban and Dan Marino, was rejected Friday. Murstein told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review his group would not go higher than $170 million. The other bidder is Jim Renacci, who owns an Arena Football team in Columbus, Ohio.

Fingold has talked to officials in Kansas City about moving the Penguins, but said recently that his family would keep the team in Pittsburgh. "I have a hard time believing that team is leaving Pittsburgh," he told The Courant earlier this month.