SBD/19/Facilities Venues

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  • BANKS ASK CONGRESS TO ASSURE THAT DC CAN REPAY ARENA LOANS

         Crestar and NationsBank, who have offered the cash-strapped
    DC government $53M to buy the land and make improvements on the
    site of a proposed new arena, have asked Congress for assurances
    the city will be able to repay the loans.  Bullets/Capitals owner
    Abe Pollin will finance construction if DC makes improvements and
    donates the land.  Congress must approve an amendment in the DC
    Charter to allow the city to levy a tax on hotel and retail sales
    to pay back the loans.  That tax is expected to generate $9M a
    year, but the banks are "concerned" that projection may be too
    high.  The banks will ask Congress for provisions that may
    include an automatic increase if the tax doesn't produce enough
    income, or a claim on the rent Pollin will pay the city.
    Financing must be in place in May for construction to begin this
    fall (Lorraine Woellert, WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Bank of America, Facilities, Washington Capitals
  • DETROIT MAYOR COMES OUT WITH NEW PLAN FOR TIGER STADIUM

         Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer says this year's version of a
    new Tiger Stadium will be "smaller, less costly and better
    defined than last year's."  When it is unveiled before the end of
    May, the plan will feature a ballpark and a parking lot -- no
    bridges, shops or other sports venues as in previous plans.
    Archer said the city, state and team will share the costs, with
    the city paying for part of the infrastructure, defined as buying
    the land, putting in new roads and tearing down buildings on the
    site.  Last June, talks on a stadium plan stalled after
    legislators complained that they were being asked to approve a
    plan without details on costs, design and financing.  Archer
    would not divulge new financing details, but he did say the cost
    would be "dramatically less" than the $400M discussed last year.
    Legislative leaders caution any plan with state funding may face
    trouble (Tina Lam, DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities
  • PATRIOTS MAY GET WISH; COMMISSION FAVORS STADIUM & MEGAPLEX

         The 13-member MA Convention Center Commission will vote
    today to include a 70,000-seat domed stadium for the Patriots
    with a downtown convention center, according to reports in Boston
    this morning.  The city had recommended a convention hall-only
    plan earlier in the year, and a domed stadium was "once thought
    all but politically dead."  However, the commission faces a "big
    if" -- whether the complex will be "financially viable."
    Commission members met yesterday with Patriots Owner Robert
    Kraft, and the group "plans to soon hire a special consultant"
    with NFL experience to negotiate a draft lease.  Commission Co-
    Chair Robert Travaglini said a full facility "will pass
    legislative muster" only if the Patriots, Boston hoteliers, and
    other "private players are financially involved."  A commission
    subcommittee will also meet with Red Sox officials about a new
    ballpark, as panel members toured Fenway Park yesterday (Phil
    Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 4/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Facilities, New England Patriots, NFL
  • REACTION NEGATIVE TO BEARS' DESIRES FOR NEW 'BURB HOME

         The latest issue of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS examines Bears
    Owner Michael McCaskey's desire for $185M in state funding for a
    new $285M home for the team in suburban Chicago.  Jeff Borden
    reports that the team "could build the stadium with much less
    public money -- and possibly none."  Borden writes that
    McCaskey's price tag for the new park is too high -- experts say
    $200M "would be plenty" to pay for a new stadium -- and that
    through methods such as advance payment on skyboxes and sale of a
    new stadium's naming rights, McCaskey "could pull in almost $160
    million before the doors open."  Also, the value of the franchise
    "is expected to jump" $40M-200M once a stadium opens, "which
    would make it easier to obtain bank financing, if necessary"
    (CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS, 4/17 issue).  An editorial in CRAIN'S
    calls McCaskey's plan "unrealistic, out of step with modern
    sports economics and an affront to the ... Illinois General
    Assembly" (CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS, 4/17 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bears, Facilities
  • STADIUM RENOVATION PLANS IN TAMPA FOR RAYS AND BUCS

         Pinellas County commissioners met with Devil Rays Owner
    Vince Namoli about his request for $20M to reconfigure the
    Thunderdome for baseball.  Namoli said approximately $50M in Dome
    improvements is required by MLB to bring the Dome up to
    standards.  Namoli and St. Petersburg officials want the county
    to raise the tax on hotel guests by 1%, which would generate
    $20M.  The city is applying for state sales tax money to pay
    $27.5M, and Naimoli said ownership will pay the additional $8-
    10M.  The meeting "grew testy at times" as Namoli was accused "of
    creating a crisis by not telling officials about the Dome
    improvements sooner."  But Namoli countered that officials knew
    of the needed improvements "for years," but that he didn't
    "release a specific list" because it would have been used against
    Tampa Bay in their effort to gain a team.  MLB has set an April
    30 deadline for arranging financing (Ned Seaton, ST. PETE TIMES,
    4/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, MLB, Tampa Bay Rays
  • THE PALACE TO BUILD NEW ENTRANCE AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTER

         Palace Sports and Entertainment President Tom Wilson said
    yesterday they will spend $15M to build a new entrance for The
    Palace at Auburn Hills.  The plan features a 100,000-square-foot,
    glass-walled addition, to be finished by November, that will
    "completely remake" the west entrance.  Inside, a new two-level
    atrium lobby will feature video displays, a virtual reality
    arcade, interactive music areas, and a Walk of Fame honoring
    entertainers.  With the expansion, Palace owners "resolved to
    capture a greater share of the entertainment dollar" as families
    will be able to arrive early and spend time in the entertainment
    center.  The plans will be designed by Rossetti & Associates, the
    Birmingham, MI, architectural firm that did The Palace's original
    design (John Gallagher, DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Wilson Sporting Goods
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