SBD/22/Facilities Venues

MASS GOV. WELD PUSHING MEGAPLEX; WILL DUMP IT IF NECESSARY

     MA Gov. William Weld told reporters yesterday that a
possible $700M megaplex in Boston with both a convention center
and sports stadium is "stronger than ever before now that you
have the possibility of the Patriots and Red Sox playing in the
same facility being actively discussed" (Richard Kindleberger,
BOSTON GLOBE, 12/22).  Weld said a convention center should be
the top priority when the MA Legislature reconvenes in January
(Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 12/22).  However, Weld said he
would sacrifice the stadium being a part of that complex if that
was the only way to reach an agreement on a convention center.
Weld:  "I am in favor of anything at this point, anything."
Supporters of the megaplex might have a hard time pushing through
a stadium as part convention center as both MA House Speaker
Charles Flaherty and MA House Ways and Means Committee Chair
Thomas Finneran have opposed spending money on a sports stadium
(BOSTON GLOBE, 12/22).  Flaherty led the opposition to a failed
bill last year that proposed a stadium study (Primack, BOSTON
GLOBE, 12/22).
     SUMMIT?  Weld and Boston Mayor Tom Menino are discussing a
possible summit between state and local officials in January to
help get an agreement on the megaplex.  Flaherty supports the
idea:  "I think it is time to bring all the parties together and
hash it out" (Richard Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/22).
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