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SBD/8/Facilities VenuesPrint All
The chances of the Bills playing at SkyDome is unlikely, according to Jim Proudfoot of the TORONTO STAR. Rich Stadium is undergoing $23M worth of improvements now and the Bills are putting up $10M, raised by a parking surcharge. "At the SkyDome, they'd get zilch from parking, nor would they be renting out private boxes. Also there are 50,000 seats here, 80,000 there" (TORONTO STAR, 12/8).
This morning, the Manitoba Entertainment Complex Inc., will announce that it has "nearly reached its marketing goals and plans for a new arena in Winnipeg is moving ahead quickly." MEC spokesperson John Leowen refused to say how many club seats have been sold in the five weeks since the marketing program began, but sources at MEC put the number at around 1,200. The goal was 1,500, but MEC member Bob Silver said the group "raised far more money than they had projected before the marketing project had begun." MEC still needs to meet with the city on a proposed site. Loewen said the group preferred the Forks, a sight just outside the city, but could live with a downtown location (Scott Taylor, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 12/8).
The proposal for a state-of-the-art arena in downtown Washington won approval yesterday from a "key" city agency. The Redevelopment Land Agency voted 3-1 to recommend that the city "lease a prime parcel of land" to the National Capital Development Corp (NCDC). The NCDC plans to build a $200M facility to be home to Abe Pollin's Bullets and Capitals. The RLA said a competing proposal by BET President Robert Johnson "might be better for the city and chided Pollin for not offering the District more." Johnson has offered to pay for the facility himself in exchange for an opportunity to purchase a share of the teams from Pollin, but Pollin has refused to negotiate with Johnson. While Johnson has the money, he "has no teams to occupy the arena," and that was the driving force behind the RLA's decision. The proposal now must go to the D.C. Council, and eventually "win backing on Capitol Hill." Johnson said he will pursue "legal options," and plans to "argue to the new Republican Congress" that the city should not support using public funds "when private sector entrepreneurs are ready to assume the risk" (Howard Schneider, WASHINGTON POST, 12/8).
The Raptors and Canada Post are "closing in on a deal" for a new arena. Club officials said they hope to have the land matters resolved by the end of the year, and a city hall source said the main differences on the deal "seems to be the land's value." Raptors President John Bitove: "We're not working hard on any of the other proposed sites" (James Christie, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/8).
Boston leaders angrily reacted to yesterday's reports that officials in RI and CT are discussing "multimillion-dollar incentives" with Patriots Owner Robert Kraft in an attempt to attract the team. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino criticized Kraft for "exploring stadium and summer training option in Rhode Island, while discussion similar issues with officials here." Menino: "Next time its Maine. I'm getting a little frustrated. ... If you don't want us to look for a stadium in the city separate from a convention center, tell us. We're wasting a lot of time and energy on this issue" (Meyer & Estes, BOSTON HERALD, 12/8). Patriots spokesperson Don Lowery said "there is no threat. We are just trying to pursue what's prudent for us in the long term." Lowery did say that discussions with CT were "fleeting and informal and not pursued" (Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/8). RI officials say a new stadium could be built "without legislative approval" with up to $250M in funds available from the RI Port Authority. In CT, officials have not "made a firm offer," but have "discussed something similar" to the package they offered the Rams: a 60,000-seat stadium, $86M signing bonus and $20M training center (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/7). SOX CHANGE THEIR TUNE: A top Red Sox official said the team would consider sharing a home with the Patriots. This could "reshape the megaplex debate in the city," as it had been focused around a dual convention center/domed stadium facility (Meyer & Estes, BOSTON HERALD, 12/8).
Joe Robbie is widely considered one of the finest facilities in the NFL. It was built in 1987 by Joe Robbie and hosted Super Bowl XXIII in 1989. It will also be the site of Super Bowl XXIX on January 29th.
STADIUM: Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida AGE: Completed in 1987. OWNERSHIP: Privately owned by Dolphins/Marlins Owner H. Wayne Huizenga. CAPACITY: 74,916 MANAGEMENT: Robbie Stadium Corporation LUXURY SEATS: 216 luxury boxes, owned and operated by the Stadium Corp. COST: $115M. Built by Robbie Stadium Corp. through private financing. Partial revenue raised through advanced sale of licensing agreement on club and executive seats. RENOVATION: Currently undergoing a $8M renovation; new floors, cup holders, furnishings, suite carpeting. CONCESSIONS: Fine Host - on management fee basis. PARKING: On-sight parking for 15,000 auxiliary lots of 6,000. $10 fee team receives % of revenue. ADVERTISING: Handled by Stadium Corp. team gets % of revenue. RENT: H. Wayne Huizenga owns the stadium outright. LEASE: Dolphins 30-year lease expires 2017.
(Source: Robbie Stadium Corporation; rent figure from Florida Times-Union article on July 24, 1994).