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A meeting between the Hawks and Atlanta city officials yesterday to discuss the possibility of a new downtown arena was "productive," according to both sides. The Hawks have said they want to leave the Omni and "relocate to a modern arena" with more luxury boxes in the suburbs. The city, however, would like to keep the team downtown. Turner Broadcasting VP William Shaw said TBS Chair/Hawks Owner Ted Turner "is a big supporter of the city and, all things equal, he'd like to stay in the city." A "few possible" Atlanta sites are being explored, but "no specific proposal" was made (Saporta & Unger, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/29).
The Meadowlands, which will host the Final Four in '96, "figures to be the last 'small' facility to host the men's event in the foreseeable future," according to Michael Dobie of N.Y. NEWSDAY. In the piece, Dobie notes the many "pros" and "cons" of holding the event at the Meadowlands. Among the pros, "Boon for hotels, limos, stores and restaurants," and the "Media capital of the world." Michael Rowe, Exec VP & GM of Meadowlands Arena and Giants Stadium: "We've been told things are going terrific. We meet with the [NCAA Tournament] committee every day. I don't think anybody has any concern" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 3/28).
A bill designed "to expand the use of a 1-cent local option tourist development tax" for either a renovation of Tampa Stadium or the construction of a new facility "won swift approval" yesterday from a state House subcommittee. The law, which was designed to help attract new teams to FL, allows local sports authorities "to keep a percentage of the sales tax they collect at sporting events" (Lucy Morgan, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/29). They can then use the money to help build new facilities or refurbish old ones. According to state Rep. Jim Davis, passage "is critical" if Tampa Bay football fans hope to keep Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer from moving (Phil Willon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/29).