SBD/16/Facilities Venues

LIGHTNING REASSURES COMMISSIONERS ABOUT NEW ARENA

     Lightning Governor David LeFevre "reassured" Hillsborough
County commissioners yesterday that the grand opening of the new
arena will be around October '96 -- not this fall as originally
planned.  The team's "inability to secure a construction loan" is
being blamed for the delay.  LeFevre later told the group that
the team's Japanese owners "expect to choose a consortium of
arena leaders" within ten days and break ground "within a month."
He also said publicly for the first time that team owners "may
finance the construction themselves, should all other options
fail" (Francis Gilpin, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/16).
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