SBD/12/Facilities Venues

RAPTORS CANCEL PLANS FOR ARENA; LOOK TO NEW SITES

     In a "major turnaround," the Raptors have cancelled their
plans to build a $100M, 20,500-seat arena at the Toronto site of
Bay and Dundas streets because the site is too small to hold a
multi-use arena.  The facility was originally intended for only
the NBA team, but Raptors Presideent John Bitove said since then,
"things have happened ... and the economic impact of having a
hockey team in the building is dramatic."  Bitove said the hockey
tenant could be the Maple Leafs, but also didn't rule out an IHL
team.  "A source said Bitove has been approached by the IHL about
placing a team in his new building" (Christie & MacLeod, Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 10/12).  The announcement set off new speculation
as to where the Raptors will play on a permanent basis -- and
with the team hoping to start construction next summer, "there
isn't much time."  The Raptors are looking at two downtown sites
and two parcels elsewhere in the Metro area, though Bitove has
expressed his desire to stay in the city.  The Raptors will open
at SkyDome in November '95, and plan on moving into their own
facility for '97-'98 (Jim Byers, TORONTO STAR, 10/12).
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