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Black Entertainment Television President Robert Johnson yesterday ended his opposition to building a publicly funded arena in downtown Washington, DC, now that Capitals and Bullets owner Abe Pollin has agreed to pay for the construction himself. Johnson: "The world turned upside down when Pollin agreed to pay for the arena construction. They should have gone private in the first place. ... We're not looking for hooks to bring the deal down." Johnson went on to say that he would stop efforts on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to block the deal, now regarding it as "very good" for the District (Howard Schneider, WASHINGTON POST, 1/5). Should Pollin need help in funding the $180M arena, Johnson offered financial assistance. In exchange, however, he would want the chance to buy the Bullets -- a team that Pollin has repeatedly said that he is not interested in selling (Jeanne Dewey, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/5).
A plan unveiled Wednesday at a meeting of the L.A. Coliseum Commission calls for 42 luxury suites to be built this year in two rows atop a new press box at the Coliseum. The proposed construction would cost $17M and a decision of whether or not to go ahead with the project will have to be made by March. The deadline would "allow enough time to finish the press box and private luxury suites by the beginning of the fall football season." The costs of the current renovations to the Coliseum are now estimated to be slightly more than $92.7M, up from last month's estimate. Steven Soboroff, a Coliseum commissioner, said that "he hopes that after obtaining funds from a new concessions contract at the Coliseum and grants to build the new press box from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, loans of only about $5M would be necessary to finance the additional luxury suites" (Kenneth Reich, L.A. TIMES, 1/5).
Candlestick Park in San Francisco is the fourth oldest facility in the NFL. It was built in 1960 and is home to both the 49ers and the baseball Giants. The city has pledged over $26M to help renovate the facility in time to host the 1999 Super Bowl. Today, we continue to examine the NFL's infrastructure with a look at Candlestick Park, host of this Saturday's playoff game between the Bears and 49ers. This profile is No. 24 in a series of 29.
STADIUM: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
AGE: Completed in 1960 49ers began play in '70 OWNERSHIP: Owned and managed by the city. CAPACITY: 69,497 for football will expand to 72,400 for the '95 season. LUXURY SUITES: 94 owned/operated by the city but 49ers have exclusive marketing/selling rights, revenue split 85% for the 49ers/15% for the city. COST: $24.6M in 1960 1970 renovation to enclose stadium for football cost an additional $20M. Bonds floated for the facility to be paid off by '98-99. PARKING: Over 8,000 spots $15 fee, city 65%/team 35%. CONCESSIONS: Volume Services Team gets approx 30% revenue. MAINTENANCE: City pays for maintenance on facility. GAME-DAY: Personnel cost shared between city and 49ers. ADVERTISING: Sony has unique deal with city to have exclusive advertising rights in the stadium. Signed a 10- year deal in '87 with contract extension last year. RENT: $2.3M 5th highest in the league. LEASE: 25-year lease expires in 2011.
(Sources: Mike Gay, Candlestick Park; rent figure from Florida Times-Union article on July 24, 1994).