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  • CLEVELAND'S GUND ARENA OVERBUDGET; MUST BORROW $12M

         The Gateway Economic Development Corp., the body in charge
    of the Gund Arena and Jacobs Field in Cleveland, must borrow $12M
    to payoff cost overruns of around $30M in the construction of the
    new arena.  The new $148M home of the Cavs cost 25% more to build
    than expected because the arena was built on a "fast-track"
    before architectural plans were completed, leaving many costs
    unanticipated.  Gateway Chair Thomas Chema said the bill will be
    paid through sporting and special events at Gund and neighboring
    Jacobs Field:  "We said we weren't going back [to the public],
    and we're not."  The rest of the overrun will be covered by a
    $10M capital fund provided by the Cavs, and part of the $14M
    earned from the Gund family for naming rights to the new arena.
    Total construction costs for Gateway were $401M (Steven Koff,
    Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 12/14).
         BROWNS NEXT IN LINE?  As Cleveland Mayor Michael White
    campaigns for a taxpayer-funded renovations at Cleveland Stadium
    for the Browns, PLAIN DEALER columnist Dick Feagler says
    taxpayers are "sick of the whole stadium subsidation issue.  And
    that the neighborhood playgrounds ought to start getting some
    attention instead of the Yuppie playgrounds."  Feagler: "Sooner
    or later, all the big-league cities get a ransom note. 'If you
    want to keep on enjoying your beloved playmates, ... leave a
    couple of hundred million bucks in stadium renovations and a big
    piece of the take from the food concessions in the hollow tree.
    No cops'" (Dick Feagler, CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER, 12/14).  For our
    profile of Cleveland Stadium.
    

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  • KRAFT MAY ASK STATE TO BUY FOXBORO

         Patriots Owner Robert Kraft may ask the state of MA to buy
    Foxboro Stadium from him and then lease it back to the team,
    according to Phil Primack of the BOSTON HERALD.  Kraft has
    reportedly met with state officials and made a proposal that the
    state "would make major stadium investments that Kraft says are
    needed for the Patriots to be financially competitive."  A source
    to MA Gov. William Weld said the stadium costs and improvements
    would be about $100M or more, but "a lot less than building a new
    open-air stadium from scratch."  There is "little support" from
    state leaders to provide financial aid for the stadium because
    they are "reluctant to publicly subsidize a private business."
    But, by turning the stadium into a state-owned facility, Kraft
    could "counter that criticism" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/15).
         PATRIOTS GAMES?  An editorial in this morning's HARTFORD
    COURANT argues that the state of CT should not be used as
    "bargaining lever" by Kraft to get a better stadium deal in MA.
    If Kraft brings the team to CT, "he will receive a welcome and a
    stadium the likes of which it has never known in Massachusetts.
    But no more Patriots games" (HARTFORD COURANT, 12/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots
  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO ORIOLE PARK AT BRONX YARDS

         A preliminary plan for renovating Yankees Stadium was
    unveiled to Bronx borough officials on Tuesday.  The proposal,
    designed by the sports architectural firm, HOK of Kansas City,
    calls for "widening the structure by 40 feet and adding luxury
    boxes."  The plan also calls for building 90 luxury boxes, 12,000
    parking spots, and a picnic area in the left field bleacher area.
    HOK, widely known for its design of Oriole Park at Camden Yards,
    also plans to have an "exact replica of the original facade of
    the stadium as a new outer wall for the ballpark."  To make the
    facility more accessible, the subway station would be improved,
    and easier on/off exits from the George Washington Bridge
    (Matthew Purdy, N.Y. TIMES, 12/14).  The cost of the stadium
    renovation is estimated at $125M and total neighborhood
    renovation at $380M.  Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner has
    threatened to move the team out of the Bronx when his lease
    expires in 2002 (Polner & Lin, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 12/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New York Yankees, YankeeNets
  • NO JOB SECURITY FOR BLOCKBUSTER PARK TEAM

         Members of Blockbuster Park's management team who recently
    signed a "three-year job agreement were told to start looking for
    other work."  Those working without contracts were let go.  This
    comes as a result of Viacom's decision last week to cancel the
    $2B Blockbuster Park Sports and Entertainment Complex.  Company
    execs declined to comment on the cuts (Don Finefrock, MIAMI
    HEARLD, 12/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Viacom
  • STATE OF THE STADIUM: THE DAWG POUND

    STADIUM:
    Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland, OH
    AGE: Built in 1931
    CAPACITY: Capacity is over 75,000 — 7th highest in NFL.
    LUXURY SEATS: 104 "loges," owned and operated by the Stadium Corporation.
    OWNERSHIP: Owned by the City of Cleveland.
    MANAGEMENT: Cleveland Stadium Corporation.
    COST: Facility cost $2.9M — paid by public bonds
    CONCESSIONS: Service America. Team does gets undisclosed percentage of revenue.
    ADVERTISING: Team sells stadium advertising. Revenue breakdown between team and Stadium Corp. is undisclosed.
    PARKING: 4,000 spots — $7. Revenue goes to Stadium Corp.
    RENT: $742,000 — 7th lowest in the NFL.
    LEASE: Expires in '98.

    (Source: Eddie Uhas/Cleveland Stadium; rent and public subsidy figure from Florida Times-Union article on July 24, 1994)

    Print | Tags: Facilities, NFL
  • THE POSSE IN THE COLISEUM? L.A. GROUP SAYS YES TO CFL

          A Los Angeles group attempting to buy the CFL Las Vegas
    Posse has met with representatives of the L.A. Coliseum about
    possible use of the facility.  Las Vegas Major League Sports
    Inc., which owns the team, announced an agreement in principal
    Wednesday to sell the team to the L.A. group, pending debt
    problems and CFL approval.  Coliseum General Manager Pat Lynch
    said he has met twice with representatives of the group, but
    talks have been "preliminary in nature."  Potential problems
    include the current configuration of the Coliseum floor, not
    currently wide enough for a CFL field, and the possibility that
    scheduled construction of a new press box could hinder stadium
    use (Tim Brown, L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/15).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Facilities
  • THESE MARINERS ARE UNWELCOME AT THE PORT OF SEATTLE

         The Port of Seattle told a committee charged with studying
    the possibilities of a new stadium for the Mariners that it
    "wants little to do with paying for a ballpark."  The Port said
    it has budgeted every available dollar for the next five years
    and has "a lengthy wish list should more money become available."
    Port Commission President Pat Davis said baseball is not on that
    list: "It would be a hard stretch to find where a new stadium
    would fit into our mission statement."  The committee will hold a
    final meeting January 11 before King County Executive Gary Locke
    reviews its findings.  Expected to be in the report -- 35-45%
    private financing with the public paying the remaining costs, but
    no agreement on a domed, retractable dome or open-air ballpark
    (Larry LaRue, Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 12/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Seattle Mariners
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