SBD/7/Facilities Venues

POLLIN SIGNS DEAL FOR NEW ARENA; BANKS HELP DC FINANCE SITE

     Yesterday, Capitals/Bullets Owner Abe Pollin signed the
final agreement to build a new $180M arena in downtown
Washington.  Pollin will now seek financing to fund the
construction and design for the arena.  The District is
responsible for the site and off-site infrastructure
improvements.  Despite DC's "insolvency," Crestar Bank and
NationsBank have been negotiating with city leaders to loan the
city $35M-$65M for their responsibility in the arena deal.  The
city plans on approving a new business tax to repay the loans.
The project is expected to generate $100M in new revenue for the
city, and "could spur economic development" in the area.  Pollin
says "several banks" are interested in financing construction of
the arena, and that he plans to unveil design plans soon.
Sources told the WASHINGTON TIMES that all 10 of the arena's $1M
"Founders" suites have been sold and the 100 luxury boxes priced
at $125,000 each "are going fast" (Lorraine Wollert, WASHINGTON
TIMES, 3/7).  Pollin says construction could begin in August and
hopes to open the facility for the '97-'98 NBA and NHL seasons.
Pollin has agreed to hire 35% minority contractors for design and
construction.  The arena would hold 23,000 seats (Michael
Fletcher, WASHINGTON POST, 3/7).
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