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While the Hornets' players are "limping" into the season, the Charlotte Coliseum "wants the home fans to know they still have a few things to cheer about." The Coliseum tied for first in the NBA with Indiana's Market Square Arena for the least expensive parking ($4) in a survey by MONEY Magazine. The same survey found that the coliseum also has the cheapest hot dogs at $1.50 and the least expensive soda at a $1 for 16oz (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/4)....Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna, "who seemingly had punted on supporting an outdoor sports stadium a week ago," said area leaders should consider a multicounty bond issue to finance the complex. Serna said it is not a response to CFL Gold Miners' Owner Fred Anderson's decision to move (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/3).
The last report launched during Blockbuster Park's first review period "landed with a bang" yesterday, when a Dade County growth management specialist, Carey Lee Rawlinson, "blasted nearly every aspect of the park's development plan." Calling the plan "grossly inadequate," Rawlinson said Blockbuster failed to indicate how the $1.4B sports and entertainment complex would affect Dade's economy. Rawlinson said park planners "never considered how much business or how many employees the project would sap from Dade County's existing sports and tourist-related businesses." He said the impact on attractions such as Joe Robbie Stadium, the Miami Arena and the local waterfront shopping plaza should be studied. Dade County was the last of two dozen state and local governments that submitted questions regarding Blockbuster's development application. Company consultants now have four months to respond (John Maines, Ft. Lauderdale SUN- SENTINEL, 11/4).
BET President Bob Johnson "has switched gears and offered to back the [Washington, DC's] investment in arena construction in return for an opportunity to buy an interest in the Bullets." Under the plan, Johnson would guarantee the repayment of city- issued bonds and Bullets/Caps Owner Abe Pollin would "sell Johnson an interest in the Bullets immediately." Johnson would also have the first right to "buy the team in the future at whatever price Pollin sets." Johnson changed his proposal after "concluding" that his original offer to build an arena with his own money was gathering little support. The new proposal increased pressure on Pollin to "at least consider a partnership with one of the area's highest profile African-American businessmen." Last week the DC Chamber of Commerce "urged Pollin to meet with Johnson because, in light of the financial condition of the city," Johnson's offer could not be ignored (Howard Schneider, WASHINGTON POST, 11/4).
"There is still a remote chance the Patriots could move to Hartford." Patriots Dir of Public Relations Dan Lowery said the team will explore other stadium possibilities in New England if the MA Legislature does not provide funding for improvements to Foxboro Stadium. The Patriots are seeking $50-70M to upgrade the stadium. An attempt to lure the Patriots to Hartford ended last January, when Bob Kraft bought the team. The CT Legislature had approved financing for a $252.1M stadium, based on an NFL team moving to the city (Terry Price, HARTFORD COURANT, 11/4). In Boston, Joan Vennochi notes what Kraft wants from MA is "more than what the governor can support" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/2). Today's HARTFORD COURANT also reports that UConn is likely to move to Division 1-A in football, "contingent" on the building of a new stadium, probably in the Hartford area. THE PROVIDENCE SOLUTION? Outgoing RI Gov. Bruce Sundlun proposed a domed stadium for the Pats in Providence. After approving $200,000 in improvements at the team's training facilities, Sundlun said a stadium in RI should be considered because the team "can't make it at Foxboro." Sundlun's reasons: 65% of season tickets are sold south of Foxboro; Hartford is a New York market; the NFL is not going to let the team leave New England, the 6th largest TV market; and "most critical of all," the NFL "has reached the point where it will be a participant (in building a stadium)" (Paul Kenyon, PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 11/3).