SBD/8/Facilities Venues

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).
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Detroit Tigers, Facilities

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