SBD/3/Facilities Venues

DEAL BETWEEN CITY OF WINNIPEG AND MEC ALMOST DONE

     Winnipeg Mayor Susan Thompson and the city's executive
policy committee met privately Friday morning with Manitoba
Entertainment Complex (MEC) members.  Thompson said in an
interview later that MEC will control the design and marketing of
any new arena in Winnipeg, despite a public meeting scheduled at
city hall this Friday to hear all proposals.  Thompson: "It's the
[MEC] who have the option (to buy the private held shares of the
Winnipeg Jets).  They have stuck their neck out.  They have put
their money out.  They can do the marketing."  The city council
ordered the public meeting after MEC supporters on the council
failed to "muster a majority to support a motion to guarantee"
C$3.7M in funding for the group of 44 business people to design
and market a new arena.  Thompson said the private meeting with
MEC was to debate the process for the hearings and to discuss
MEC's "increasingly tight marketing schedule."  Dissident
councillors say next week's meeting is a "stalling tactic while
MEC supporters look for more votes on council" (Stevens Wild,
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 10/1).
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