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DENVER MAYORAL CANDIDATE SAYS ARENA WILL COST CITY $143M

     Denver mayoral candidate Bob Crider said Comsat's plan to
build a new downtown arena will cause the city to lose $143M over
30 years.  Under a yet-to-be-released agreement, Comsat will
build a $132M arena and $20M movie studio, give the arena to the
city and pay them $2M a year for rent.  The city and county of
Denver would let the Nuggets out of its current lease at the
city-owned McNichols Sports Arena and make road and parking
improvements at the new arena site.  Crider says the $143M loss
would come through lost revenues above and beyond the $2M a year
the city would receive.  Tim Leiweke, president of Comsat Rocky
Mountain Entertainment, disputed Crider's numbers.  Leiweke, who
will oversee the arena project, says Crider "made several crucial
errors" in coming up with his figures.  First, the Nuggets would
never stay in McNichols for 30 years because of the facility's
age (the facility was built in '76).  In addition, the city would
have to spend "at least" $50M to make the building attractive to
the team.  Other officials involved in the arena negotiations say
Crider overlooked increased property tax revenues that will be
generated from the land around the new facility.  Also, the city
would own the facility.  Crider says "until he sees the
agreement," he will "stand by his numbers" (Mark Eddy, DENVER
POST, 3/14)
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Denver Nuggets, Facilities

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