The CMSB is committed to bringing you the Portland Pirates story as accurately as possible, from as many sources as we can get on the record. Please understand we have made numerous requests with the Portland Pirates to speak to President Brian Petrovek and as of this time, we have received no response. The CMSB has received some criticism in some circles for the use of unnamed sources. All we can say about that is that we feel 100% comfortable with the information and where it is coming from, and if there was ANY doubt to its validity, it would not show up here in print, or out of our mouths on the radio. We have structured The CMSB to be above the board and better than the rest from day one, and intend on continuing in that direction. Here is some updated information that The CMSB has learned tonight.
The CMSB has learned, from 3 completely different, independent sources that the Portland Pirates discussions with The Albany Times Union Center were, as one source put it, "a ploy to play Albany against Portland from the start." The Albany discussions, characterized by The CMSB as an "agreement in principal", are clarified to us as an "outline of an agreement" drawn up between the Albany Times Union Center and The Portland Pirates. The sources state that the team that was closer to a deal in Albany was, in fact, the Lowell Devils. That has changed, but more on that later.
According to the sources, the Pirates used the Albany offer as a guideline for discussions with the Cumberland County Civic Center Board of Trustees on Monday. Here are some details of that offer:
-The Pirates requested a 15 year lease with the rent frozen for the entire lease period.
-The Pirates currently pay approximately 2 1/2% of ticket sales to the county. The Pirates want that reduced to zero so they (The Pirates) can sell their own tickets.
-The Pirates want 80% of all concession sales during games, they currently get 0%. Both sources indicate the team would settle for a 50/50 split, but the Cumberland County Civic Center would provide staffing.
-The Pirates again requested that game night security control be given over to the team, not the CCCC.
-The Pirates want final approval for any naming rights that would be sold for the CCCC. Secondly, the Pirates want 35% of that revenue.
According to the sources, these numbers are not acceptable to the Committee. The CMSB has not been able to contact anyone from the Board as of publication, but when we spoke to Chairman Neal Pratt on Monday, Pratt said the committee "would not be talking about specific numbers with the press while the negotiations were still in progress."
According to the sources, it seems the Albany Times Union Center was playing The Portland Pirates against The Lowell Devils and that The Portland Pirates were playing The Albany offer against The CCCC Board of Trustees. Sources state, with numbers and terms unacceptable to the CCCC Board, Albany may be The Pirates ONLY option for 2011. According to one source the Devils have "backed way off Albany to let Portland play out. Portland is a far better destination for the Devils than Albany." As another source stated "the Devils burned a lot of bridges when they were (in Albany) in the early 2000s."
It should be noted that while The CMSB has not been able to speak with Petrovek in person, he has stated in many media outlets no deal has been reached as of publication.
The CMSB has also reached out to The Lowell Devils for comment and have received no response.
The CMSB spoke to some of the original sources again and state that The Albany Times Union Center has a structure of a deal in place with The Portland Pirates pending "dotting of I's and crossing of T's".
Please stay tuned for complete coverage of the potential move of the Portland Pirates.