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Bloomington, MN's Metropolitan Sports Center, longtime home to the former-Minnesota North Stars, was scheduled for demolition this morning. The building was built in 1967 for the NHL's North Stars inaugural year in the Twin Cities, but was "doomed" after the North Stars 1993 move to Dallas and the construction of the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. The land around the building, adjacent to the Mall of America, will be used for parking in the short term, but there is speculation the site could someday be used for another "shopping complex or a massive hotel" (Jerry Zgoda, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 12/12).
Sports facility architects, HOK Inc., should submit its reports on possible renovations to Tampa Stadium by the end of the week. Tampa Sports Authority Director Rick Nafe said the report won't include cost estimates for "each of six renovation options designed to add 40 luxury boxes and up to 10,000 club seats in the stadium." The Authority is limited in what it can pay HOK, and the firm says they were unable to produce actual cost estimates without charging more (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/13). LIGHTNING FACE "WATERHSED WEEK": Lightning officials "are scurrying to get financing in place so the team doesn't miss opening the 1996 hockey season in its new home," according to a report in this morning's TAMPA TRIBUNE. The team "should get some help" on Thursday when Tampa City Council members vote on whether to extend for the second time a deadline to secure financing for the $120M project. The original deadline was pushed back to December 31. Council members will decide wheter to extend it further to April 30. Lightning attorney Stephen Pankau: "This should be a watershed week. We expect to hear from bond insurers and private lenders" (Ken Koehn, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/13).