SBD/27/Facilities Venues

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         As construction on a new downtown Tampa arena for the
    Lightning continues, cost estimates for the new structure have
    gone up, according to today's TAMPA TRIBUNE. The latest estimate
    puts the price at $144.3M, nearly $10M more than the team
    predicted in a finance plan released three months ago.  In '93,
    team officials said the arena could be built for $110M.  Despite
    the rise, the taxpayers' portion of the bill -- about $84M -- is
    not increasing, according to Hillsborough County's Mike Merrill.
    Merrill said any cost increases will be paid by the team (TAMPA
    TRIBUNE, 4/27).
         BEHIND THE FINANCING:  Construction costs are projected to
    run $70.9M.  Other expenses: $11.1M for land purchases, $7M for
    architects and engineers and $846,000 for marketing and p.r, and
    an $8M contingency fund.  The team's plan indicates they have
    secured a $55.9M construction loan from Shawmut and First Union
    Banks.  Two institutional lenders -- New York Life Insurance and
    Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America -- have
    agreed to purchase about $60M in bonds once the project is done
    that will cover the Lightning's debt (Jim Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE,

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Tampa Bay Lightning

         A tax on parking spaces in the City of Cleveland is the
    recommended option for financing the renovation of Cleveland
    Stadium, sources tell the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER.  Stephen
    Phillips reports that unnamed members of a task force appointed
    by Cleveland Mayor Michael White to determine the best way to pay
    for renovations, have said that a citywide parking tax "is the
    most feasible of the revenue producers under consideration."
    Several members say that the parking tax must be supplemented
    with other revenue-producers to pay for the $130M renovations,
    including contributions from the team or fans.  Gov. George
    Voinovich has said the state would contribute up to 12% of the
    renovation costs through OH's capital improvements budget.
    Officials hope the renovations can be completed by '99; the
    Browns lease at the Stadium expires in '98 (Cleveland PLAIN
    DEALER, 4/26).
         POLITICAL MOVEMENT:  Faced with the "threat of Ohio losing"
    its two NFL teams, state Sen. Stanley Aronoff urged a statewide
    task force studying stadium improvements for the Bengals and
    Browns to speed up its work.  Aronoff called the situation "close
    to becoming a crisis" and said that the governor's willingness
    for the state to contribute up to 12% of the cost of renovating
    Cleveland Stadium should mean equal treatment in Cincinnati

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Facilities, NFL
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