SBD/27/Facilities Venues

HORNETS WANT ADDED SKYBOXES, OR WILL BUILD OWN ARENA

     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).
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