SBD/20/Facilities Venues

MARINERS RETRACTABLE ROOF NECESSARY TO LONG-TERM LEASE

     Mariners CEO John Ellis told the editorial board of the
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER yesterday that the team will not sign
a long-term lease on a new stadium unless a retractable roof is
included.  The retractable roof adds $20-32M in costs to the
$223M project.  King County stadium task force officials have
"questioned the cost-effectiveness" of the roof since a KPMG Peat
Marwick study released last month stated that such a feature
"represents the highest cost alternative for a relatively nominal
gain in attendance and revenue generating capability."  Some
members also believe the issue of weather is "irrelevant" since
rainouts were sparse last year at the Tacoma Tigers' roofless
stadium.  Team officials say they want the retractable roof to
"guarantee fan comfort."  Ellis "rejects the notion" that the
team should pay for the roof and "said a more attractive building
could double stadium revenues ... without any increase in
attendance."  Ellis:  "We have the potential to be the Northwest
team.  We need a facility that will make it possible for us as a
region to realize that potential."  Ellis' reaction if the task
force decides not to include a roof on the new stadium:  "Don't
build it" (Angelo Bruscas, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/20).
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