SBD/2/Facilities Venues

BROWNS FUTURE EXAMINED THIS WEEK IN THE PLAIN DEALER

     This week the Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER ran a four-part series
on the future on the Browns, called "A Big League Town:  The Cost
of Staying in the NFL."
     SUNDAY:  Part I examined the value of the Browns to the city
and area in light of Owner Art Modell's comments that he may have
to sell the Browns if he doesn't receive a new or renovated
stadium.  On the question of whether the investment is "worth it
in terms of community prestige and return on the dollar,"
economists "see it as part boon, part boondoggle" (Bonnie
DeSimone, Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER, 1/29).     MONDAY:  Part II
examined the ways municipalities have handled stadium
construction, noting that for some cities "being competitive can
be expensive."  Renovation successes in Jacksonville, Seattle and
Tampa, along with new stadium projects in Miami, St. Louis and
Charlotte, are featured.  (Steven Koff, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER,
1/30).
     TUESDAY:  Part III compared Municipal Stadium to other
"state of the art" stadiums around the NFL.  Due to the fact that
it "falls short in dozens of ways," renovations will cost an
estimated $130M for a "massive internal makeover"  (Steven Litt,
Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/31).
     WEDNESDAY:  Part IV examines potential sources of money to
pay for a new stadium.  The Task Force, which hopes to deliver a
recommendation to Cleveland Mayor Michael White by mid-February,
has "declined to say whether they have any favorite financing
plans."  Some options the Task Force is considering:  A regional
stadium authority that could levy sales taxes; a Cleveland
parking lot tax; a surcharge on Browns home game tickets; a
statewide "soda pop tax"; and a capital improvements
appropriation from the state.  The chosen revenue source "will
likely be used to support issuance of economic development
revenue bonds" (Stephen Phillips, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/1).
     ADDENDUM:  A proposal for a "Sports Mart" attached to the
renovated Municipal Stadium is now "in the hands" of the Task
Force, according to Stan Bullard of CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS.
The Mart would include a sports mall, a hotel, and a sports
medicine clinic.  It "would make the stadium more than just a
home for football games" and could produce profits to help repay
bonds sold to finance the stadium renovations (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND
BUSINESS, 1/30-2/5 issue).
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