SBD/4/Facilities Venues

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         At a news conference yesterday, Redskins Owner Jack Kent
    Cooke announced that he has "abandoned" efforts to build a new
    stadium in Laurel, MD, (Anne Arundel County) and is now focusing
    on sites in Prince George's County, MD.  According to Cooke, his
    interest in Prince George's ranges from accessible roads to a
    "large amount of undeveloped land" that "virtually ensures that
    he can find a site that will not spark the intense local outcry
    that has sunk most of his prior bids" (John Mercurio, WASHINGTON
    TIMES, 4/4).  Cooke is also "counting on" a much more "supportive
    political environment" than he faced in Anne Arundel.  Gov.
    Parris Glendening, who opposed the Laurel site, "has given strong
    signals that he would support a stadium" in Prince George's
    (Michael Abramowitz, WASHINGTON POST, 4/4).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Washington Redskins

         When Tampa Bay was awarded an expansion franchise last
    month, MLB owners gave the city a deadline of April 30 to submit
    a signed lease to MLB.  With that deadline 25 days away, Devil
    Rays Managing General Partner Vince Naimoli is "upset that
    elected officials have not worked out a deal to make improvements
    to the ThunderDome."  It is estimated that the Dome needs about
    $20M to prepare it for the Rays' '98 season -- which would cover
    dugouts, clubhouses, scoreboards and artificial turf.  But the
    problem is an "additional" $20M, which came up during recent
    lease negotiations between the city and the team.  Naimoli, who
    would "not explain" what the extra money would go towards, said
    local officials "have known of these costs for at least a month."
    Naimoli was unsure of what will happen if the deadline is not
    met:  "If you don't have a stadium that conforms to baseball
    specifications, what's the alternative?" (Seaton, Topkin & Davey,
    ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/4).  According to St. Petersburg city
    attorney Mike Davis, the city plans to file an application for
    state money tomorrow.  If granted, the "special state sales tax
    fund" would "guarantee" $2M a year for 30 years or the city
    "probably" could receive $20-25M "all at once" (Bill Chastain,
    TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/4).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, MLB, Tampa Bay Rays
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