SBD/2/Facilities Venues

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         The growing trend of franchises who threaten to move to
    "extract better-than-average deals in a free-market economy" is
    examined by Michael Granberry of the L.A. TIMES.  The Chargers,
    who recently were granted more than $60M by the city to expand
    their Jack Murphy Stadium by 12,000 seats, benefited at a time
    when the fate of their NFL neighbors --the Rams and Raiders --
    "was hanging fire."  But the stadium expansion is "already
    affecting" the Padres, who claim that 72,000 seats are "far too
    many for a small-market baseball team."  The Padres, whose lease
    expires in '99, want a baseball-only stadium similar to that of
    Camden Yards.  By not contesting the Chargers' expansion, the
    Padres "may have signaled their plans."  Jack Murphy renovations
    will be financed in part through additional revenue from club
    seating, sky boxes and increased capacity, as well as higher
    prices from concessions and parking, as well as $2.5M a year in
    city-issued bonds.  According to City Manager Jack McGrory, the
    total 30-year debt service will be $7M a year.  The Padres, with
    the help of New York investment firm Wertheim Schroder & Co.,
    have countered with their own figures noting the "boon" that new
    baseball parks have been to Baltimore and Cleveland.  The
    potential need for a new baseball stadium has, in turn, "dimmed"
    San Diego's hopes for a new 20,000-seat arena.  Even Barry Lorge,
    a spokesperson for Arena Group 2000, which is trying to get the
    new arena built, admits, "Perhaps it's prudent to protect the
    franchises you have" (L.A. TIMES, 5/2).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, NFL, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, San Diego Padres, LA Rams

         With Mariners owners saying they will put the team up for
    sale next year if a new stadium isn't built, the future of the
    team appears to be in the hands of some dissenting lawmakers.
    The bill that passed the House last month to give a tax break on
    stadium construction costs and shift some of an existing tax on
    rental cars toward stadium bonds was never acted on by the
    Senate.  Now, according to state Rep. Steve Van Luven, WA House
    members are trying to come up with a bill that a "very cautious"
    Legislature will support.  Many members say government "should
    have no involvement" in building a stadium.  And, Rep. Marlin
    Appelwick, has said that "support for a stadium-financing bill
    probably peaked a week ago" (David Postman, SEATTLE TIMES, 5/2).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Seattle Mariners
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