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Members of the MA special convention center commission told Patriots Owner Robert Kraft that he "must be willing to pay more" toward the construction of a stadium, according to today's BOSTON HERALD. Sources say that Kraft's initial offer was between $60M- 70M. Meanwhile, citing the MA Lodging Association's "renewed opposition" to any hotel tax hike to pay for a megaplex and Gov. William Weld's pledge to veto any statewide tax hike to help finance the facility, MA House Ways and Means Chair Thomas Finneran "warned" yesterday that the dome "could doom the convention center." Finneran: "I need to hear that the commission has solid, substantial private financing for everything over and above a convention center alone." State Sen. Robert Havern: "The vast majority of the stadium costs must be privately paid for and we are making serious progress toward that end" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 5/17).
The Chargers have extended their lease agreement with the city of San Diego and Jack Murphy Stadium through 2020. Included in the agreement are plans to expand the capacity of Jack Murphy to accommodate more than 70,000 fans (Chargers). The deal will net the Chargers 10,582 new general admission seats, 26 new luxury suites, two new scoreboards, and a "state-of-the-art off- site" practice facility, according to the SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE. The city will be responsible for $60M in revenue bonds, with a yearly retirement fee of $7M, and a commitment to guarantee the sale of 60,000 seats per game for the life of the deal. In return, the Chargers agree to an average of $5M in lease payments to the city each season. All renovations are set to be completed by the time San Diego hosts Super Bowl XXXII in '98 (Barry Bloom, SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE, 5/16).