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Sources involved with Abe Pollin's arena project in downtown DC said that commitments for ten "Founders Suites," worth $1M each, are lined up and could be announced as early as today. Kenneth Sparks, a member of DC's National Capital Development Corp.: "They're going like hot cakes." According to Crestar Bank President William Harris, "potential leaseholders have been asked to pledge a portion of the lease fee and agree to sign a lease in the future." Project officials report other luxury suites (avg. $125,000) are also "going fast" (Tony Munroe, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/6).
The total cost to stadium improvements at Rich Stadium in suburban Buffalo has risen from $22.7M to $26.7M with Erie County picking up the tab for the overruns. The $4M cost overrun will be picked up by the county, which originally was to contribute $8M. A practice facility originally estimated at $3.5M will now cost $8M and proposed underground walkways from Rich Stadium to parking lots will cost $4M. As a result, planned new restrooms at the stadium have taken a backseat. Meanwhile, a $4M grant Erie County is seeking from the Federal Government is on hold. The county claims that air-quality funding is appropriate for the tunnels because they will "improve traffic flow and are expected to reduce the time fans spend inhaling auto fumes" (Margaret Hammersley, BUFFALO NEWS, 1/5).
The Packers recently ended their long association with County Stadium in Milwaukee, where they played three home games each year. The team will play a full-season at Lambeau Field in '95 and will benefit from the addition of 90 luxury boxes. The 198 luxury suites, along with the nearly 2,000 clubhouse seats, gives the Packers one of the largest luxury box capacities in the NFL. Today's profile is No. 25 in a series of 29.
STADIUM: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
AGE: Completed in 1957 OWNERSHIP: Owned by the city of Green Bay. MANAGEMENT: Managed by the Packers. CAPACITY: 59,543 to expand to over 60,000 next season. LUXURY SEATS: 108 Packers receive all revenue. Team will build 90 additional suites for next season. Team has 1,920 clubhouse seats with special services enclosed with food service. PARKING: Promotions Management Inc. (PMI) team receives all revenue. CONCESSIONS: PMI receives undisclosed % of bottom line team receives a majority of revenue. MAINTENANCE: Shared by city and the Packers. Structural damage repaired by the city. GAME-DAY: Personnel provided and paid for by team. ADVERTISING: Leased out to Pro Sports Marketing in Dublin, CA. LEASE: Expires in 2004 with option to 2024. RENT: $240,000 -- 4th lowest in the league.
( Source: Packers; rent figure from Florida Times-Union article on July 24, 1994.)
Manitoba Taxpayers will "shell out more than $2.6M to cover the Winnipeg Jets' losses for the first three months of the 94-95 season." If the NHL work stoppage continues, the price tag could climb as high as $10.4M for a "team that has not played a game all season." Under the current agreement, the city and Province of Manitoba must split team losses and pay the majority of owners a "small profit" until June '97 while proposals for a new arena are considered." The city and province own 36% of the team, and if they decide not to build a new arena and sell the team, the public's "share of the sale price would help defray any losses." The financial losses have increased "arguments of critics who say Winnipeg has spent too much on its team" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 1/6). ARENA DOWN-TIME: Winnipeg Enterprises Corp. has estimated its loss from 20 cancelled Jets home games to be roughly $1M (Randy Turner, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 1/6).