Business leaders in Oklahoma City pass on Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- An Oklahoma City business group has decided
not to try to entice the Pittsburgh Penguins to move and play in
the city's Ford Center arena, a newspaper reported.

Brad Lund, chief executive officer of the company that runs the
arena, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review his group couldn't meet
the team's timetable to work out a deal.

The Penguins and owner Mario Lemieux have been seeking a new
arena in Pittsburgh and have already visited Kansas City and have
an offer to move there.

"We cannot compete aggressively for the Penguins the way
(Pennsylvania) and Kansas City are going about it," Lund told the

Ford Center opened in 2003 and is the part-time home of the
National Basketball Association's New Orleans Hornets. Lund said
his group will focus on trying to land a permanent NBA franchise.

The Penguins are busy negotiating a deal with city, county and
state officials to build a $290 million arena to replace
45-year-old Mellon Arena, the oldest and smallest in the National
Hockey League.

Lemieux has said the team will be free to move if an arena deal
isn't in place by the time the Penguins' lease at Mellon Arena
expires at the end of the season.