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In an effort to try and keep the Bucs from leaving, the Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) yesterday approved a stadium agreement turning over the naming rights for Tampa Stadium to the team. According to TSA Chair Chuck Davis, if Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer is able "to find a taker, the money is his." Aside from the naming rights, there are also "other changes" in the agreement which "still need approval" from the Hillsborough County Commission and Tampa City Council. Among the changes: the Bucs and TSA "will stop sharing" money made from parking and concessions when attendance goes above 52,500; team payments to TSA will fall by $150,000 a year; beginning next season, leasing luxury boxes will cost the team $200,000 annually instead of $300,000; and the team won't have to pay $50,000 for advertising at the stadium. The new agreement "could bring the Bucs as much as $1.85 million more a year," and that they would return to the original arrangement "once the Bucs get a new or renovated stadium" (Jim Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/21). OTHER NAMING RIGHTS NEWS: Diamondbacks Owner Jerry Colangelo said the ballpark to be built in downtown Phoenix will be named on April 4 or 5 (USA TODAY, 3/21). Bank One has been mentioned as most likely to purchase naming rights.
"Surprising several task force members," Regional Stadium Task Force Co-Chair Guy Guckenberger said yesterday that he "expects Cincinnati, Hamilton County and Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky to bear most of the cost for building or remodeling" stadiums for the Reds and Bengals. In doing this, several counties in Ohio would be left "out of the picture." Guckenberger: "I think there's a feeling that the closer you are to a downtown stadium, the more direct and greater the benefit and the more you contribute." KY state Sen. Joe Meyer, however, believes "it's not fair that some Southwest Ohio counties could be excluded but all of Nothern Kentucky would be asked to pay." Leaders of the task force "plan to pursue an 'interstate compact' that would unite metropolitan Cincinnati counties into one entity" (Richard Green, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/21).