SBD/26/Facilities Venues

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         D.C. council members met with city officials to discuss the
    city's financial obligation toward the proposed $180M arena
    Bullets/Capitals owner Abe Pollin wants to build in downtown
    Washington.  After initial reports put the city's portion of the
    cost at $12.5M, the Council was told yesterday that up to $65M
    could be needed.  The increase is due to the fact that DC "did
    not take into account" all of the expenses they agreed to cover.
    According to Robert Pohlman, the city's interim chief executive
    financial officer, the majority of the DC funding, $25M, will go
    towards the purchase of the arena site and surrounding land for
    development.  About $19M will go towards relocating city workers
    that presently work in offices that will be demolished (Jeanne
    Dewey, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/26).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Washington Capitals

         WI Governor Tommy Thompson's top aide says a "myriad of
    questions and complications remain" in the search for a way to
    pay for a new $223M stadium for the Brewers.  These statements
    come on the eve of today's final meeting of the Milwaukee Stadium
    Commission, where a recommendation for a plan is expected to be
    submitted to Thompson.  James Klauser, head of the state
    Department of Administration: "I am sure we'll find a way, but we
    have a lot of foundation work to do.  Everybody will point the
    finger [at the state] and say 'You do it.'  This has got to be a
    collaborative effort.  The city and county have to participate as
    well."  A report in yesterday afternoon's MILWAUKEE JOURNAL says
    the committee "may simply recommend a series of potential sources
    of public funds."  It is estimated the state will need $18-$25M a
    year for the next 20 years to fund the project.  Among the
    possibilities: a sports lottery that would be expected to provide
    from five to $15M a year and a regional sales tax for Milwaukee
    County and the surrounding counties.  The sales tax option has
    "little political support and hostile opposition."  Tuesday night
    in Racine County, just south of Milwaukee, the county board voted
    24-2 against raising the county sales tax to finance a ballpark
    project.  Milwaukee County official William Drew proposed the
    regional sales tax idea last week: "I'm still waiting for the
    first supporter to call me and say, 'Great idea.'  Raising taxes
    is not a very politically popular type of thing to do" (Craig
    Gilbert, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, 1/25).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Milwaukee Brewers

         The City of Minneapolis and MN Governor Arne Carlson
    yesterday asked local business leaders to help finance $12M of
    the $54M needed to buy the Target Center and complete the deal to
    sell the T-Wolves.  Under the plan, the city will issue $42M in
    general obligation bonds, while local business leaders would buy
    $12M in additional bonds.  Business leaders would be in a
    "secondary position," meaning they would not get returns on their
    investments until the city's obligations were paid.  Among the
    local business leaders who met with officials Wednesday
    afternoon: Dayton-Hudson, Norwest Bank, First Bank, IDS,
    Honeywell, U.S. West and Cowles Media.  Carlson and Metropolitan
    Sports Facilities Commission Chair Henry Savelkoul say the issue
    must be settled by March 1, the date by which Wolves and Target
    Center owners Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner must inform the
    NBA if they plan on moving the franchise.  Carlson, who called
    the arena a "state asset," says he will not need to ask the MN
    Legislature for help if business leaders can come through (Weiner
    & Diaz, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 1/26).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA
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