SBD/3/Facilities Venues

NUGGETS TO TAKE THE PEPSI CHALLENGE?

     The Nuggets and PepsiCo are talking about a deal worth $15-
20M that would give Pepsi naming rights to a new Denver
basketball arena and the Nuggets money to help build that arena.
A PepsiCo spokesperson confirmed that the two are in "preliminary
stages of a deal."  The Nuggets threw an "elaborate private
party" at McNichols Sports Arena for PepsiCo execs last Thursday.
Nuggets officials also met with Denver city officials and then
"culminated their day by meeting" with Mayor Wellington Webb's
sports advisory task force.  The meeting produced an
understanding the Nuggets would commit up to $100,000 to pay for
consultants the city wants to hire to examine the team's arena
proposal.  Work by the consultants begins this week and will be
completed in about 14 weeks.  The fact the Nuggets are "courting
Pepsi as a major sponsor for a new arena indicates how confident
the team is that it can work out an agreement with the city."  A
new deal with the city would release the Nuggets from their
contract to play at McNichols through the 2007-2008 season.
Pepsi currently has beverage concessions at McNichols and also is
involved with four other teams:  Magic, Canucks, Cubs and Indians
(Christopher Lopez, DENVER POST, 9/30).
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