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WINNIPEG: Officials of the Manitoba Entertainment Complex, the group seeking to build a new arena in Winnipeg, will attempt today to persuade Winnipeg hockey fans to purchase seats in the new building. MEC needs commitments for 1,500 club seats and 40 luxury suites by the end of November in order to keep the project on course for a construction start next summer. Privileges for suite-holders will be extensive. For $55,000 to $85,000 annually, and the one-time $40,000 builders fee, a suite-holder will enjoy the use of a separate club concourse, private restaurant, special parking, all-day, all-event availability and concierge service. It will cost club-seat holders between $2,000 and $5,000 for the one-time builder's fee and the per-year premium is between $800 and $1,000, depending on location. Hockey tickets for the Jets will be extra, but the club seat also guarantees the availability of a chair for every arena event for which the seat owner wishes to purchase tickets (Don Campbell, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 10/22). CALGARY: The Flames are offering 1,500 fans with the opportunity to purchase club seats in the renovated Olympic Saddledome. By purchasing a club seat, an individual will be provided the privilege of obtaining tickets to any event at the Saddledome. The privilege won't affect shows until the arena reopens after extensive renovations in mid-October, 1995. While the official price for a club seat has yet to be released, Flames Seating Director Bob White said that the seats would cost between $2,925 and $3,375 for the 45-game season (Alison Mayes, CALGARY HERALD, 10/21). EDMONTON: Edmonton Eskimos GM Hugh Campbell said that the team may be forced to shut down their operation if they can't get more money out of Commonwealth Stadium. Campbell said after four straight money-losing seasons, the team will fold without new revenue sources. City Council decides tomorrow whether to further pursue the ideal of an Eskimo-operated stadium (Mike Sadava, EDMONTON JOURNAL, 10/22).
SMU AD Bill Lively said that the university has made significant progress toward finding a new football stadium for 1995. The university is committed to moving to either the Cotton Bowl in Dallas or Texas Stadium in Irving (FORT WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM, 10/21)....San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan has promised to spend $26M on improvements at Candlestick Park if NFL owners vote to play the Super Bowl there in 1999. Jim Lazerus, director of special projects for the mayor, said that the mayor is considering renaming the stadium with a sponsor's name (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/21)....The Hussey Seating Co. has begun the installation of 50,000 seats in the new Coors Stadium (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 10/22)....A $2.5M conversion to condominiums of a office building is planned for a site near the north side of the new Gund Arena (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/23).
The TX Comptroller's office is reviewing whether contractors for The Ballpark at Arlington owe sales taxes on construction materials used to build the stadium. The tax, which would have to be paid by the Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority and could amount to "several million dollars," is in question because of a conflict between two pieces of legislation on the tax-exempt status." TX tax law does not allow tax exemptions when a government entity, in this case the "quasi- public" sports authority, leases or sells a project to private interests such as the Rangers. But a law passed in '91 "may have overridden the language in the tax code," according to Greg Hartman, a spokesperson for Comptroller John Sharp (Wayne Slater, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/21). The '91 amendment was "passed specifically for" the Ballpark project but does not "specifically address" a sales tax. The sports authority says it does not have the money to pay the taxes if the comptroller decides they are necessary. The law does not allow the sports authority's debt to exceed the $135M taxpayer contribution. The Rangers must pay "any obligations beyond" this amount (Ken Dilanian, FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM, 10/21). The tax has become an issue in the Governor's race between Rangers Partner George W. Bush and Ann Richards (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/22).