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The MA commission studying a possible megaplex is scheduled to hear from state officials and others who have spent "several" weeks reviewing each potential site for a combined convention center/stadium. State Rep. Kevin Fitzgerald said preliminary findings "didn't give us a push one way or the other (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 5/10). The commission is also launching "one more -- and possibly final -- drive to find enough private financing" for the facility. Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau President Patrick Moscaritolo: "It's clear that the commission needs to know whether the business community intends to suit up and play or sit it out." The commission is retaining three separate consultants for more than $250,000 total to help look into the financing (BOSTON HERALD, 5/9). For the first time, Senate President Billy Bulger said that building the proposed complex on Summer Street in South Boston "might be a suitable location after all." While Bulger is "warming" to the convention center and maybe even a baseball park, he "appeared to remain opposed to building a 70,000-seat domed stadium in South Boston" (Richard Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/9).
Racetrack owner Bruton Smith and the Fort Worth City Council have come to a "general agreement" that calls for the creation of a sports authority to issue bonds for the construction of Smith's $75M Texas Motor Speedway to be located just north of Alliance Airport, write Roland Martin & Jack Smith in the FORT WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM. Within six months, a final agreement on operating rules and legal requirements must be reached between the Council and Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. City officials expect the speedway to boost tourism revenue and increase exposure through NASCAR TV events (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/10).
Yesterday's meeting between the Tampa Sports Authority and architects from K.C.-based HOK made TSA officials believe that it will take "some big bucks" to keep the Bucs from leaving town, according to today's TAMPA TRIBUNE. Estimates for a new stadium run as high as $210M, while the cost of renovation was put at $155M. Citing "sticker shock," the TSA asked HOK to return next week with a list of "cost-cutting ideas." TSA Building Committee Chair Steve Anderson, expressed "surprise" to HOK's estimates: "They're much higher than I anticipated. I don't think the community could afford or is prepared to pay $210M" (Jim Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/10). Although HOK officials "provided few details" about why the estimates for renovation were so much higher than expected, they did say that working with the "constraints of the stadium's existing structure complicated their job" (Danielson & Banks, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/10).