SBD/6/Facilities Venues

STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS BECOMING TOO RICH FOR COUNTY'S BLOOD

     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).
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