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Price projections for a new stadium for the Bucs have dropped from $210M to $175M as local officials claimed that "it would be difficult" to renovate Tampa Stadium for less than $155M, according to this morning's TAMPA TRIBUNE. To bring the cost for a new stadium down, architects cut costs on such items as landscaping, road improvements and other construction costs (Jim Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/18). ALL IN FAVOR, SAY RAY: The St. Petersburg City Council is this morning expected to approve the final lease for the Devil Rays to play at the Thunderdome. MLB officials have tentatively approved the lease and are expected to give final approval today (Noam Neusner, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/18).
Cuyahoga County Commissioner Lee Weingart is suggesting a county-wide vote on a plan to redirect a tenth of the revenue from the Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority's 1% sales tax to help pay for the city and county's $120M share of the $150M Cleveland Stadium renovation. The plan would be an alternative to Cleveland Mayor Michael White's plan to levy 15% parking tax on all lots within the city. Weingart told CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS that his plan would not hurt the RTA because "there aren't many government bodies that can't be cut 10%." RTA Board President George Dixon: "With federal cutbacks, we're begging for operations funds as it is" (Stan Bullard, CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 5/15 issue). In an editorial in the same issue, CRAIN'S supports White's parking tax plan, but opposes additional funding from the county -- also part of the funding plan. Instead, CRAIN'S proposes a $3 a seat "renovation surcharge" on all tickets sold at the stadium (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 5/15 issue).