SBD/27/Facilities Venues


     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,
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Facilities, Tampa Bay Lightning

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