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         TX State Rep. Ron Wilson said he will introduce a bill
    during the coming legislative session that would mandate a city-
    wide referendum on a domed stadium in Houston.  Wilson would not
    say how a domed stadium would be financed, though he was adamant
    that no taxes be increased to fund it.  Wilson: "For the city to
    be a viable economic entity in this state and this country, we
    are going to have to have a vibrant downtown.  I firmly believe
    that part of that is going to be a major sports facility downtown
    to attract tourists and to attract development in the downtown
    area."  Wilson added that his plan for a dome will allow the city
    to "completely build, own and manage" the complex (John Williams,

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Wilson Sporting Goods

         The Washington, DC, chapter of the AFL-CIO "dismissed" a
    plan by BET President Bob Johnson to build a privately funded
    sports arena, "citing the executive's labor practices" and lack
    of commitment from a pro franchise.  Johnson will announce
    details of his plan today to build a $170M multi-use arena in the
    District.  The group said that employees of Mr. Johnson who
    "tried to organize a union or work for better pay and improved
    working conditions were harassed, treated improperly or even
    fired."  Joseph Westbrook, a technical director at BET, said he
    didn't think Johnson had the ability to build an arena, adding
    "he does not have the labor relations.  Our working conditions
    are not the best" (Matt Neufeld, WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/13).

    Print | Tags: Facilities

         Redskins Owner Jack Kent Cooke's "six-year odyssey to find a
    new home for his Washington Redskins was dealt another setback
    yesterday" as Robert Wilcox, a local administrative hearing
    officer, released a "sharply worded" decision denying a zoning
    exemption to build on industry land in Laurel, MD.  Wilcox said
    Cooke's property is "too small for the proposed use" of a 78,600-
    seat stadium.  Wilcox decided the stadium would attract 4,000
    more cars than Redskins officials predicted, "overwhelming" area
    roads.  Redskins' traffic estimates of 3.5 ticketholders/car were
    deemed "without merit" and Wilcox criticized the Redskins for not
    submitting economic impact studies to prove community benefits
    from the $160M stadium (Neufeld & Flynn, WASHINGTON TIMES,
    10/13).  Stadium Project Manager Walter Lynch said the team will
    study whether Wilcox's prediction of 3 ticketholders/car can be
    accommodated with additional road improvements.  Lynch also said
    the Redskins traffic estimates were based on a plan to require
    fans to show parking passes or public transport tickets to enter
    games, encouraging car pools (Dan Beyers, WASHINGTON POST,
         BACK TO DC?  Redskins officials filed an appeal "hours after
    the decision" and Cooke issued a statement calling it "arbitrary
    and capricious."  Cooke said he still intends to "vigorously"
    pursue a stadium in MD (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/13).  But Cooke
    spoke yesterday with DC mayoral candidate Marion Barry "about
    keeping the team in [the District] after all."  Sources close to
    the Redskins say the team "probably wants to assess the results
    of the election before deciding whether to move forward in Laurel
    or seriously examine other sites" (Dan Beyers, WASHINGTON POST,
    10/13).  Barry said he will probably meet again with Cooke
    "sometime next week" and that Cooke asked him yesterday if it
    would be possible to "overcome the congressional and
    environmental opposition" that led Cooke to look outside DC last
    year.  Barry: "I'm prepared to do all we can do, including
    tearing down RFK if necessary."  DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes
    Norton said building on the RFK's current site would allow the
    city to circumvent Hill approval because DC already has rights to
    the property.  Edward Zukoski of the Sierra Club Legal Defense
    Fund, speaking for groups opposed to building near RFK, called
    renovating RFK "a win-win situation for the team and the
    community" (Kovaleski & Henderson, WASHINGTON POST, 10/13).
         POLITICAL LANDSCAPING:  While MD Gov. William Donald
    Schaefer, a consistent opponent of the Redskins moving to MD,
    leaves office after this year, Democratic gubernatorial nominee
    Parris Glendening said he hopes that Cooke "will return to
    Washington or seek state help in finding a new site."  Republican
    nominee Ellen Sauerbrey said she "wouldn't view this as good
    riddance.  This may be the only way Maryland gets a major league
    football team."  Sauerbrey did say she wouldn't "turn the
    government upside down" to get the Redskins (Katherine Richards,
    Baltimore SUN, 10/13).
         COMMENT:  Tony Kornheiser writes, "The pendulum has swung
    back.  The only place you can build a new stadium is where all
    the stadiums used to be -- in the cities" (WASHINGTON POST,
    10/13).  But Michael Wilbon notes that DC "is the last city left
    dragging its feet" to build a stadium downtown (WASHINGTON POST,
    10/13).  An editorial in this morning's Baltimore SUN states that
    Cooke "ought to reconsider staying in Washington" (Baltimore SUN,
    10/13).  Ken Rosenthal: "Go home, Redskins" (Baltimore SUN,
    10/13).   Citizens Against the Stadium (CATS II) President Jeanne
    Mignon said, "Common sense ruled," and added that CATS would
    continue fund-raising to fight the Redskins appeals.  (Katherine
    Richards, Baltimore SUN, 10/13).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Washington Redskins

         Packers President Bob Harlan said the team won't renew its
    lease at Milwaukee County Stadium, where the team has played part
    of its football schedule since 1932.  The team will play a full
    schedule at Lambeau Field and "take full advantage" of the luxury
    boxes and financial stability of their own facility.  County
    Stadium lacks luxury skybox seating, and Harlan said the Packers
    have lost $15M playing in Milwaukee since 1985 and "would lose
    another $12M in the next four years."  The 46,000 season-ticket
    holders at County Stadium will be offered season-ticket packages
    at Lambeau Field that will include an exhibition game and two
    regular season games.  Harlan: "We are abandoning our ballpark,
    but we are not abandoning our fans."  Brewers Owner Bud Selig
    said the Packers' move will help both clubs in the long run, as a
    baseball-only park in Milwaukee will reduce the cost of a new
    facility (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/13).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Facilities, Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers

         A request for C$3.7M by the group trying to keep the Jets in
    Winnipeg was scaled back to C$1.5M by a city committee.  The
    Manitoba Entertainment Complex, a group of almost five dozen
    entrepreneurs, is trying to use the "pool of private capital" to
    market a new arena for the Jets.  The 16-member city council will
    vote on the request at a special meeting on Friday.  Winnipeg
    Deputy Mayor George Fraser said if the money proposal isn't
    passed by the council, "the deal collapses and the hockey team
    has the message they should be on the market" (CANADIAN PRESS,
    10/13).  Councilman Al Golden, considered the "swing vote" on the
    council, issued an ultimatum to the group in exchange for his
    support of the marketing of the new arena.  Golden said he'd
    contribute the city's 36% share in the Jets, but not a cent of
    taxes, along with a commitment by the team to stay in Winnipeg
    for at least 25 years (Bill Redekop, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 10/12).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New York Jets

         Ed Anderson, Maricopa County's "chief baseball official," is
    under fire after flying to view big-league stadiums aboard a
    plane owned by a "company that is negotiating a multi-million
    dollar contract to oversee construction of a new facility in
    downtown Phoenix."  Anderson believes there is nothing improper
    about accepting the travel from Huber, Hunt & Nichols after they
    already have a $60,000 contract to survey stadium sites and
    provide estimates.  They are "currently seeking a contract
    extension of $4-$5 million to manage construction of a
    retractable-roof baseball stadium."  A public group claims the
    trips Anderson took to Toronto, Dallas, and Cleveland to look at
    their stadiums show an "overly cozy relationship that could be
    dangerous to taxpayers."  Barbara Cooper, the interim county
    administrator, said she cleared the trips and "didn't consider
    this to be outside of ethical guidelines" (David Schwartz,

    Print | Tags: Facilities
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