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The Brewers "will have to spell out how much of the estimated" $265M -- the cost of the team's new stadium project -- "they will cover before a decision can be made on raising public funds to make up the difference" according to Daniel Hanley of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL. The Brewers are "at least two weeks away from revealing" that figure which could delay the work of the Governor's Milwaukee Stadium Commission. That group faces a February 1 deadline to recommend a way to raise public funds. Yesterday, project consultants gave the commission new cost estimates and a timeline. Construction cost: $145M, plus another $51.66M for the convertible roof -- not including infrastructure costs earlier placed at $67M. The timeline calls for temporary financing to be in place at the start of '95 with funding approval in March '95 (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, 12/1).
The discussions for a new arena in downtown Washington took on a new light as Bullets/Caps Owner Abe Pollin threatened to pull out of any deal that would compromise his future ownership of the teams. Black Entertainment Television President Robert Johnson yesterday told the DC Redevelopment Land Agency (RLA) -- the group that will decide who will "get the rights to develop valuable city owned property" -- that he would pledge $12M to help develop minority-owned businesses in the neighborhood of the arena, pay at least $500,000 annually rent for land, and set aside $18M to acquire extra property required for the building. The proposal "drew favorable comments" from RLA members, but it left representatives of Pollin "fuming over potential deal busting delays." Pollin spokesperson Wes Unseld "cautioned" the RLA not to be "swayed by Johnson's offer." Pollin's agreement "with the National Capital Development Corp. (NCDC) calls for DC Council approval of a new arena by year's end, and if that "timetable slips, Unseld said Pollin will begin talking again" with officials in MD and VA about other sites. Johnson's deal is contingent upon Pollin moving his teams into the city (Howard Schneider, WASHINGTON POST, 12/2).
The Raptors and SkyDome will announce today that they have completed the lease agreement for the team's first two seasons. The deal is believed to be worth $4.5M per season. Officials at SkyDome hope the team will stay there beyond the first two seasons. SkyDome President Bob Hunter said the deal is a one-year plus one-year term, with an option to renew after the second year. Hunter: "Certainly we'd like to think they'll be with us for a long while." But Raptors VP/Communications Tom Mayenknecht said the team "fully intends to be playing in our own building" after the first two seasons (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 12/2).
Bengals Owner Mike Brown said his team "will not play in Riverfront Stadium after the 1999 season." Brown, who made his comments in an interview with Richard Green of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, said he wants Riverfront demolished and a $146M facility built on the same site. He said the team could play at a temporary site (Ohio State or UK) while a new stadium is built. Brown would not discuss the possibility of relocation: "Our objective through this entire affair is to keep the team in Cincinnati. I'm not going to be about threats." Brown, on discussions of a new stadium for the Reds and renovation of Riverfront for the Bengals: "I haven't seen a (remodeling) plan that does what we need and I am not convinced it is possible" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 12/1).