SBD/18/Facilities Venues

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         The Gund Arena opened its doors in Cleveland over the
    weekend, and over 30,000 people toured the new facility. "If
    arenas competed for championships, the fans at yesterday's open
    house would have picked the $130M Gund to go all the way" (Grant
    Segall, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/17).  An  editorial in the
    Cleveland PLAIN DEALER calls the arena "spectacular" and "worth
    it" (PLAIN DEALER, 10/17).  On Sunday, THE PLAIN DEALER had a
    special 20-page supplement featuring the new stadium, complete
    with a detailed floor plan, arena menu, stadium facts and public
    transportation information (10/16).

    Print | Tags: Facilities

         The Seahawks announced a "grand plan" for renovating the
    Kingdome, but team President David Behring said they do not yet
    have a "clear-cut, concise" plan for financing the $120M, four-
    phase project.  King County officials "cautioned" that the
    proposal would be weighed against efforts to build a new ballpark
    for the Mariners and "rising" repair costs at the Kingdome.
    Behring noted there is a "strong possibility" that the financing
    would be "some form of a public/private partnership."  King
    County Executive Gary Locke agreed to that, but that any
    financing scheme will be measured against "competing needs" such
    as human services.  County Council member Pete von Reichbauer
    said the "emphasis" would have to be on private financing and
    include a new long-term lease with the Seahawks.  Behring and
    Seahawks Exec VP Mickey Loomis will attend a stadium seminar in
    Milwaukee this week to discuss a "whole myriad of different
    financing mechanisms."  The Seahawks are willing to use profits
    from 1,100 additional club seats "to defer the debt" but Behring
    "said the team does not intend to supply any other money."
    Instead, the team suggests selling naming rights to the dome and
    exploring ways to allocate state funds from the WA lottery for
    the project (Clare Farnsworth, SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER,
         THE PHASES:  HOK sports facilities group devised the plan,
    which could be completed by May '98 if begun in the next year.
    The project includes a park and party pavilions serving as a
    "gateway" to the dome and generates immediate rental revenue.
    The plan also increases football seating from 66,122 to 67,817
    and adds a 90,000 square foot exhibition hall and glass facade to
    the stadium (Clare Farnsworth, SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER,

    Print | Tags: Facilities, HOK Sports, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures

         Although Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy "says it's premature"
    to discuss sites for a new Pirates ballpark, he has asked the
    city Planning Dept. to analyze possible sites. Pittsburgh
    Planning Dir Eloise Hirsh says the city's geographic information
    system will take a ballpark outline and "manipulate it around to
    see where it might fit."  Murphy has said a ballpark should be
    part of an entertainment package, but would not specify
    specifics.  Riverboat gambling has been one suggested attraction
    of such a package.  The complex would be near public
    transportation, and include parking in a half-mile radius to
    provide several stadium routes.  The PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
    reviewed seven areas of the city with potential ballpark sites.
    Larry Lucchino, a former Orioles exec and "one of several
    prospective buyers" for the Pirates, said his memories of
    Pittsburgh's Forbes Field helped influence Camden Yards' design.
    Lucchino added:  "The ballpark should fit the tradition, the
    history, and the architecture of Pittsburgh" (Patricia Lowry,

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Facilities, Pittsburgh Pirates

         "In practical terms," the Sabres' $122.5M, 20,000 seat
    Crossroads Arena will begin construction before the ground
    freezes this year.  Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader James
    Pitts said that $2.7M in early entry money sought by the Sabres
    has the votes needed for approval at today's Council session.
    The Sabres were concerned that private financing for the arena
    would be "doomed" if construction was delayed until spring.  The
    "breakthrough" from city officials was prompted by three "key"
    agreements reached last week, including:  the Sabres' guarantee
    that the $2.7M will be repaid "if the project fails"; an
    affirmative action plan for minorities and women in construction
    as well as arena operations; and, the Sabres' agreement, with the
    NHL's endorsement, not to relocate the team "for at least" 30
    years.  The affirmative action plan will contract $24.5M of the
    work to minority businesses and $6.1M to women-owned businesses.
    One-quarter of Crossroads jobs will be filled by women and
    minorities.  Also, the Sabres have agreed to cover $1.5M of $22M
    in infrastructure costs which were not included in the $10M bond
    that Buffalo sold for the project.  The Sabres want the city to
    explore other sources, such as county and state, to help with
    infrastructure costs (Kevin Collison, BUFFALO NEWS, 10/17).

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Sabres, Facilities, NHL
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