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HORNETS WANT ADDED SKYBOXES, OR WILL BUILD OWN ARENA
Published January 27, 1995
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).