SBD/19/Facilities Venues

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).
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Facilities, MLB, Tampa Bay Rays

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