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The City of Dallas and the Mavericks are working "toward striking a deal within 30 days" on a proposed new arena in downtown Dallas, according to this morning's FORT WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM. In discussions between both sides this week, the option of renovating 15-year-old Reunion Arena has been mentioned, according to Dallas Councilman Chris Luna. Mavericks owner Don Carter has said in the past he wants a new arena, with Reunion torn down so it doesn't compete with that facility. Mayor Pro Tem Domingo Garcia told the paper "he now favors renovation." Claiming that five of the 15 members on the council agree with him, Garcia says the teams "no longer have us over a barrel," and that Reunion could be renovated with 48 luxury boxes and added club seats for $20M (Thomas Korosec, FORT WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM, 1/27).
A 12-person task force recommended yesterday the renovation of Cleveland's 63-year old Municipal Stadium rather than build a new facility for the Browns. The task force, appointed by Mayor Michael White, previously estimated that renovation would cost about $130M with interest, while a new stadium would cost $220M, plus interest and costs of land acquisition and infrastructure. This recommendation is not binding, the task force will present a proposal that will include a financing plan by mid-February. Joseph Roman, chair of the staff assisting the task force: "Renovation will give us a great facility, and it is clearly the low-cost alternative." The state is expected to finance "only a portion of the renovation." These funds could come through a plan by Governor George Voinovich to help Cleveland and other cities in the state fund large capital projects through a penny- a-can beverage tax (Phillips & Koff, Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER, 1/27).
New Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer and his two sons met with two members of the Tampa Stadium Authority (TSA) yesterday on plans to replace or renovate Tampa Stadium. A committee is expected to be announced today to study the stadium issue and make a recommendation to the TSA. Meanwhile, Socrates Babacas, an investor who failed in a bid to by the Bucs, says he wants to build the team a 70,000-seat retractable domed stadium without using taxpayer money. Babacas offered "Golden Greek Dome" as a potential name for the facility. TSA Exec Dir Rick Nafe, noting Babacas would get profits from the facility: "I don't think Malcolm Glazer and family will go for it" (Walker & Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/27).
The Hornets are not satisfied with the number of skyboxes in the Charlotte Coliseum and will consider building a new arena if the city does not cooperate on a plan to help the team "remain competitive," according to this morning's CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. In a January 10 letter to Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, team President Spencer Stolpen "laid out" three options: 1) The Hornets would invest $30M to renovate the facility in exchange for an exclusive lease and control over the booking, management and revenues from parking and concessions; 2) The team could buy the building from the city for $60-65M; 3) The team could build a new 24,000-seat, $88.8M arena in uptown Charlotte with help from a major Charlotte bank "believed to be NationsBank." Stolpen said the team has commissioned "several studies" on the value of the Coliseum and cost of "replicating" the building. Team and city officials have been "quietly discussing" the issue since last spring; a final proposal could come within the next two months. The team's lease runs through the '96-97. City officials are concerned that giving the Hornets too much influence could "hurt the city's ability to attract other major events" (Mildenberg, Chapman & Bonnell, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/27).