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DALLAS: An editorial in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS said the "fast actions" by the Dallas City Council "should reaffirm" the city's commitment to keeping the Mavs and Stars downtown. But the movement could be "meaningless" if council members "persist in leveling threats" at the two franchises (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/24). DETROIT: The Lions would like to negotiate a new deal to continue playing in the Silverdome, "but not under the present lease." The current deal does not give the team a share of revenues from concessions, suite rentals, parking and advertising. "From a club's standpoint, the Lions have one of the worst leases" in pro sports. An example of the Lions revenue problems is the "woeful" sale of private boxes, as only 45 of the stadium's 102 suites are rented for 1994 (Kupelian & O'Hara, DETROIT NEWS, 9/25). BUT THEY'RE STILL FLYIN' THE LION: The "Flyin Lion," the remote-control mascot of the Detroit Lions will "soar" again in the Silverdome. The mascot was the target of the Pontiac Stadium Authority who claimed it "violates their exclusive rights to control advertising in the stadium." The Lion is sponsored by the Target department store chain (Kupelian & O'Hara, DETROIT NEWS, 9/25). TAMPA: The city of Tampa "chipped" in $3.4M to buy land for the downtown hockey arena as the Lightning were "on the verge" of missing a costly deadline. As a condition of the deal, the Lightning are to have construction under way by Saturday, or financial documents showing the project had been "secured." But with those conditions still up in the air, city officials will try to extend the deadline to December 31. Lightning Governor David LeFevre said work on the project is "imminent" (Ken Koehn, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/27). ATLANTA: Ailene Voisin states her case to keep the Hawks in the city. "The Hawks simply do not belong in the suburb. ... Get the NBA drift? Suburbs are out. Inner cities are in" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/27). WINNIPEG: The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is "joining a growing list of opponents angered" by the proposed site for a new Jets arena. The Assembly is concerned that the building on the site would destroy aboriginal artifacts. Cam Osler, dir. of development with the Manitoba Entertainment Complex said the arena would protect any artifacts until they could be recovered when the arena is town down in the 21st century (CANADIAN PRESS, 9/27).
In today's TORONTO STAR, Jim Proudfoot reports that "Unless sanity prevails, Toronto will end up with three new arenas by the end of the century -- in addition to the SkyDome." There has been discussion on building an arena for the NBA's Raptors, and a new venture for the Maple Leafs. The third building would be "the one Michael Cohl and Bill Ballard will erect at Exhibition Place, a home for Concert Productions extravaganzas." According to a city's financier, "The only proposition that makes sense finds the new basketball team joining forces with Maple Leaf Gardens in putting up a building that can accommodate hockey as well." The Raptors will play in the SkyDome until their own stadium is completed (9/22).
The City of New Orleans will play host to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Aug. '95. The event will be at the Superdome or the Lakefront Arena (Ted Lewis, New Orleans TIMES- PICAYUNE, 9/21)...LA Gov. Edwin Edwards will meet next week in an effort to finalize a contract extending the Saints stay at the Superdome through 2018. A tentative agreement was reached in March, but Edwards said the Superdome's managers were holding up the deal by not being "flexible" in accommodating the state and the Saints (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 9/21)....Prominent signs for Pepsi, Boatman's National Bank and Busch Beer were installed on the south facade of St. Louis' new Kiel Center. The logos are part of a "major sponsorship package." A fourth logo spot is open for bids (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 9/22).
Construction will continue this month in Tampa on a publicly financed spring training stadium for the Yankees. Although the final price tag on the project has not been set, the Hillsborough County Commission repeated that the county will spend no more than the $17.22M appropriated for the complex. Jack Wilson, President of the Wilson Co. building the project, said there are alterations to the stadium that the Yankees have agreed to fund (Kevin Walker, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/22)