SBD/8/Facilities Venues

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  • D.C. COUNCIL GIVES OK TO AGREEMENT FOR DOWNTOWN ARENA

         The DC council voted unanimously yesterday to approve an
    agreement between Bullets/Capitals owner Abe Pollin and Mayor
    Marion Barry to build a downtown arena.  The vote came after
    Pollin refused to conditions that would require him to generate
    more money for the city.  Pollin has agreed to pay $180M for the
    construction of the facility, while DC will pay an estimated $50M
    for site preparation, including land sale.  The Council's
    Committee on Economic Development recommended that Pollin's teams
    be required to play all pre-and post-season games at the
    facility, be responsible for filling 290 days of events, and
    arena concessionaires to pay a real estate tax.  But Pollin's
    objections, and the fact MD "still is pushing him to keep his
    teams in Prince George's County -- prompted the council to back
    down" (Michael Fletcher, WASHINGTON POST, 2/8).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Washington Capitals
  • POLL SHOWS LITTLE SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC AID TO PATRIOTS

         MA residents want the Patriots to stay in the state, "but
    they are firmly opposed to spending public dollars to upgrade
    Foxboro Stadium or to build the team a Boston megaplex home,"
    according to a poll in this morning's BOSTON GLOBE.  The poll,
    conducted by KRC Communications for the BOSTON GLOBE from
    February 5-6, surveyed 400 MA residents on the issue of public
    assistance in the wake of comments by Patriots Owner Bob Kraft
    that he was promised financial aid by the state when he bought
    the team.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 5%.  Pollster
    Gerry Chervinsky:  "The majority says 'build a convention center
    but don't send state money on a football facility'" (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 2/8).
         QUESTION:  Should the state pay to make improvements to
    Foxboro Stadium?   68% No, 20% Yes.
         QUESTION:  Should the state pay to make improvements to
    roads near Foxboro Stadium?  57% Yes, 34% No.
         QUESTION:  Should the state pay to construct a convention
    center/stadium megaplex, or should the state construct a
    convention center and let the Patriots pay for a new stadium if
    they want one, or should the state spend no money on any kind of
    facility like this?
    Convention Center/Stadium
    33%
    No facility
    31%
    Convention Center only
    28%
    QUESTION: Patriots Owner Bob Kraft says he may have to move the team unless the state provides funds for stadium improvements. Do you think he means it, or is he just making threats to get state help?
    Just making threats
    53%
    He means it
    28%

    QUESTION: How important is it to the image of Massachusetts to have a pro football team?
    Very important
    37%
    Somewhat important
    38%
    Not important at all
    24%

    ON THE OWNER: 59% called Kraft a "savvy businessman who purchased a valuable NFL franchise and should not expect state help." Only 23% said Kraft was a "civic-minded leader who deserved state aid for keeping the team here when there were fears the Patriots would move" (Scot Lehigh, BOSTON GLOBE, 2/8).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots, NFL
  • RAPTORS' ARENA LAND DEAL COULD BE IN TROUBLE

         The Raptors are in "delicate" negotiations with Marathon
    Realty over a parcel of land for their new 22,500-seat arena
    previously slated toward an open space and a community service
    building.  The Raptors now are trying to determine where that
    building and open space, required by the city, will be relocated.
    Until the issue is resolved, the deal to buy the land from Canada
    Post, "is in limbo."  (Doug Smith, CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Raptors
  • TIGERS GET COOL REACTION FROM STATE OFFICIALS

         Tigers President John McHale says the team "is no longer in
    a financial position" to build a new ballpark without state
    funding, according to the DETROIT NEWS.  In the past, team owner
    Mike Ilitch has said he would fund the $175M park with the
    expectation state and local governments would pay for roads,
    sewers, environmental cleanup and associated costs.  State
    legislative leaders did not react enthusiastically to the new
    plan.  House Appropriations Committee Chair Don Gilmer: "It just
    went from a tough sell to an impossible sell....I get as excited
    as anyone when Cecil Fielder towers one out of the park, but I
    don't feel a strong urge to provide Cecil, or the other players,
    with a new stadium at taxpayer expense so they can make another
    million in salary."  Gov. John Engler says the Tigers would have
    to "bring the state of Michigan on as a business partner" in
    exchange for help on a new ballpark.  Engler's press secretary,
    John Truscott: "If there's to be state money involved (for the
    stadium itself), we have to get some of the benefits, get a cut
    of the profits or be paid back in some way."  State Rep. Maxine
    Berman doubts the team would get help from the state, and thinks
    even a metropolitan-wide referendum to decide to help pay for a
    ballpark would fail  (Charlie Cain, DETROIT NEWS, 2/7).  A
    DETROIT FREE-PRESS editorial states the Tigers announcement
    "makes it tougher to envision a politically defensible,
    economically sound plan for a new stadium" (2/7).
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Tigers, Facilities
  • WISCONSIN GOV. SAYS "NO" TO EXPANDED GAMING FOR STADIUM CASH

         Gov. Tommy Thompson has refused to push for more Indian
    gaming in exchange for money that could help build a new stadium
    for the Brewers.  However, Thompson "propped the door open" for
    discussions on "revenue sharing" -- having the tribes give up a
    share of their growing profits to the state (Steve Schultze,
    MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, 2/7).
         NO PROPERTY TAX: Milwaukee Common Council President John
    Kalwitz predicts any stadium financing plan that includes
    sizeable contributions from the city thorough increased property
    taxes would be "dead-on-arrival" (Nichols & Enriquez, MILWAUKEE
    JOURNAL, 2/7).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Milwaukee Brewers
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