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TIGERS GET COOL REACTION FROM STATE OFFICIALS
Published February 8, 1995
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).