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A task force convened by OH Gov. George Voinovich will begin work March 1 to determine the best way to fund new stadiums and "repair existing ones" in the state. In preparation, Voinovich staffers are "collecting material from cities nationwide with new arenas, stadiums, and ballparks to study what creative methods were used to finance the facilities" -- including Baltimore where lottery tickets were used to finance Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Voinovich has previously rejected any lottery funding. Voinovich Press Secretary Mike Dawson: "It doesn't mean we're supporting a specific position. It just means we're going to look at everything." Bengals GM Mike Brown and Browns owner Art Modell have urged Voinovich to consider a lottery (Richard Green, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/25). SCHOTT EYES NEW STADIUM SITE: Reds Owner Marge Schott has asked HOK Sport to explore ways to link a new ballpark with downtown (Richard Green, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/25).
Negotiations for a new Raiders stadium at Hollywood Park have hit a "snag that could jeopardize" the project. Hollywood Park CEO R.D. Hubbard has said "there will be no stadium unless the NFL commits to at least three Super Bowls at the location." Hubbard: "I'm very pessimistic at this time. The NFL has not committed to what we feel we need to make the deal work." Although the NFL has "publicly indicated that it would be willing to help Los Angeles get a state-of-the-art stadium and offered Super Bowls as a way to make it worth the effort, no formal promise or plan has been made" (John Cherwa, L.A. TIMES, 2/24). NFL Dir of Commun. Greg Aiello said "it's doubtful that the league can guarantee Super Bowls for the Inglewood stadium," and that Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's promise of five Super Bowls was good "only if the NFL financed its own stadium" (Bernie Miklasz, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 2/27).
The Univ. of South Florida is reportedly interested in playing in a new stadium with the Buccaneers, according to yesterday's TAMPA TRIBUNE. Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer "has made it clear he wants his recent acqusition showcased in a new stadium," preferably one ready for '97. If a new stadium is built, USF President Betty Castor sees it as a possible venue for USF's team, which school officials hope to field by '97 (Kevin Walker, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/26).