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San Francisco's bid for 1999's Super Bowl XXXIII, that includes a $26M renovation of Candlestick Park, has encountered "financial hurdles and potential challenges" from the city's Board of Supervisors, according to this morning's SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER. Supervisors complain that Mayor Frank Jordan promised the NFL too much without consulting them. In addition, it is unclear how the city will pay for the project, as it had a $9M deficit last year. Other problems: Area unions are upset that they were "left out" of the contracting process and that city employees were not notified what role they would play in the project; and the design contract was rewarded to an AZ firm partially owned by a cousin of 49ers owner Eddie Debartolo. Jordan has come up with some "innovative" ideas to raise the funds for the renovation, including the sale of the naming rights of Candlestick and "getting firms involved in other marketing ventures." Jim Lazarus, who is coordinating Super Bowl planning for the mayor's office, says voters may be asked to approve a bond measure. Renovations must be completed by the beginning of the '98 season, or the NFL has the right to withdraw its offer for the city to host the '99 Super Bowl (Erin McCormick, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 2/9).
Members of Seattle's Parks, Public Grounds and Recreation Committee yesterday toured the construction site of what will be a renovated Seattle Center Coliseum next October. The $73.4M project that started in June of '94 is on budget and on time. The new building will have an increased capacity created by a lower playing floor; a new roof & scoreboard, luxury boxes, club seating, a practice facility and ice-making capabilities. The city will receive revenue from the naming rights of the facility (Bill Knight, SEATTLE POST-INTELLENGENCER, 2/9)....The Raptors presented their plans for a new arena last night at a meeting organized by the Toronto Historical Board. Approximately 120 people were on hand to discuss the preservation of the historic postal building that will be a part of the arena complex (Dan Westell, Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL, 2/9)....The Superdome Commission is soliciting bids for renovations to the Superdome and the building of a new Saints Training Facility in Metarie, LA (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 2/8).
An 18-member task force, mandated by MN state law after the state's unsuccessful '94 Target Center buyout bill, will convene for the first time today with many questions pending. According to yesterday's Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, the following topics will be discussed by the group: The possibility of the Twins changing ownership; the cost of keeping the Metrodome viable; the usefulness of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC); the city of Minneapolis' obligation to pay for sports facilities; and the possibility of government ownership of sports teams. MSFC Chair and task force member Henry Savelkoul hopes the body will develop "a package of bills for the 1996 legislature." Savelkoul: "If we want pro hockey, we have to be proactive. ... If we want to assure that baseball will stay, we must do something." The panel consists of six elected officials, with the remaining twelve coming from the community (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/8). ON TARGET: A Minneapolis City Council committee approved a plan for a $75M buyout of the Target Center. Business leaders also reported that they have commitments for $8M of the $12.6M needed from private businesses for the deal to be successful. Wednesday's 4-2 vote by the Council's Community Development Committee, combined with Monday's 4-2 vote by the Council's Ways and Means Committee means eight of the 13 members have approved the deal. The full council is expected to vote on the transaction Friday, but only if businesses have the full $12.6M in commitments (Patrick Sweeney, ST. PAUL PIONEER-PRESS, 2/9). FACING OFF WITH BURKE: NHL Sr. VP Brian Burke met with two members of MN Governor Arne Carlson's advisory committee charged with bringing an NHL team to the Twin Cities. Burke told officials the "Target Center buyout must be completed before the NHL even would look at the Twin Cities market" (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 2/8).