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SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's "Scorecard" leads with a story on the controversy over the naming rights to the new Boston Garden. Before last week's buyout of Shawmut bank by Fleet Financial Group, the facility was to be called the Shawmut Center. Now the name is up in the air, but there are rumors that the building may be named "Fleet Forum." SI calls for Fleet to resist a corporate name: "The Hub deserves an arena with a name reflecting the city's rich athletic tradition. How about the Russell-Orr Center, to honor two of the old Garden's great denizens? Or simply the New Garden? Fleet needn't festoon it's name all over the building for New Englanders to give it credit for helping to make the arena possible. In fact, the bank might win greater public acclaim by allowing the two team's new home to bear a dignified name" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 3/6 issue).
Without leases for the Raiders and USC or any money for capital improvements, the L.A. Coliseum Commission yesterday went ahead with a decision to try and build 21 luxury suites on top of a planned new press box by next fall. The Commission later acknowledged that it may not be able to obtain the $10M loan needed to build the suites. Commission President John Ferraro called the action "an indication we want to move ahead." The construction of the press box is expected to be financed through a $6M earthquake repair grant from the federal government. The Raiders did not play out their option to play in the stadium in '95. However, the team, currently in negotiations with Hollywood Park officials for a new stadium, still could play in the Coliseum in '95, but not rent-free as it did in '94. Negotiations between the Coliseum and USC "have been hampered" by the school's "unwillingness" to pay rent if the Raiders do not (Kenneth Reich, L.A. TIMES, 3/2).