SBD/28/Facilities Venues

KRAFT OFFERS UMASS USE OF STADIUM IN RETURN FOR STATE HELP

     Patriots Owner Robert Kraft met with UMass President Michael
Hooker and offered free use of his facility at Foxboro to the
UMass football team.  UMass is trying to upgrade its football
program to Division 1-A and "one of the hangups" is that its
facility is far too small to meet NCAA requirements.  Kraft said
UMass could "use his facility free of charge if the state were to
compensate with the dollars needed to build better highway
access, as well as make improvements to the stadium."  Kraft, who
has called for either a domed stadium as part of a "megaplex"
complex in downtown Boston or improvements to Foxboro Stadium,
called the proposal a "win-win situation" since costs to the
state of building a new stadium are estimated at $100-$150M.  The
State Highway Department does plan to put "at least" $50M into
road improvements along Route 1, but probably not until 1998
(Greenidge & Palmer, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/26).
     MEGAPLEX SETBACK:  The MA Legislature is "considering
funding further studies of several sites" for a stand-alone
convention center -- another setback for supporters of a
convention center/stadium plan (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/27).
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