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DENVER MAYORAL CANDIDATE SAYS ARENA WILL COST CITY $143M
Published March 15, 1995
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)