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  • MEGAPLEX COMMISSION PICKS A SITE; FINANCING THE NEXT ISSUE

         In recommending South Boston/Summer Street as the location
    for a proposed convention center-sports complex costing $800M-1B,
    the MA special megaplex commission "chose the site with the
    biggest potential payoff -- but also the most daunting
    challenges," according to Richard Kindleberger in this morning's
    BOSTON GLOBE.  While the 10-3 vote for Summer Street over the
    competing CrossTown project was a "major step forward for
    megaplex boosters, commissioner said it was only a beginning.
    The group still has to devise a plan to finance the project,
    overcome potentially strong opposition from South Boston
    residents and politicians and persuade the Legislature and Gov.
    Weld to approve it."  On the issue of financing, the commission's
    fiscal subcommittee was to meet today with the question of
    possible fees and taxes on the agenda.  The commission is also
    trying to convince companies -- ITT and Gillette are mentioned --
     to invest in the project (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).
         MONEY, MONEY:  MA Senate President William Bulger said a
    hotel tax should be considered, if even for just the convention
    center.  Gov. Weld has opposed all taxes for the project.
    Commission members said the Patriots' contribution, $5M a year
    for 25 years, would cover 30-40% of incremental stadium financing
    costs.  Weld:  "The way out of the woods on (financing the
    stadium) is to bring in partners from the private sector either
    for naming rights or for other sorts of relationships with the
    professional sports teams involved" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD,
    5/25).
         FROM THE TEAMS:  The plan includes new stadiums for both the
    Patriots and Red Sox.  While Patriots Owner Robert Kraft had no
    preference between sites, Red Sox CEO John Harrington was
    "thrilled" with the choice.  Harrington:  "That's where we want
    it to be, whether they go through with the megaplex or not.  This
    would be perfect."  As for the Patriots, Kraft received
    confirmation from NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue that he would
    recommend Boston get the Super Bowl in 2001.  Will McDonough
    notes, "In his five years in office, Tagliabue has seldom been so
    aggressive on an issue like this" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).  While
    Red Sox officials and commission members felt they could reach "a
    conceptual deal" by June 1, other key issues, including
    financing, must be cleared first.  The Red Sox have agreed to pay
    $150M for their own stadium, but "they want land and
    infrastructure to be provided" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD,
    5/25).
         OTHER REACTION:  A BOSTON GLOBE editorial notes:  "Site
    selection is easy compared with the difficult matter of finance"
    (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).  Senate President Bulger and U.S. Rep. Joe
    Moakley, both from South Boston, withheld judgment.  Bulger:  "I
    want to know what the impact is on the community" (BOSTON HERALD,
    5/25).  Columnist Rachelle Cohen calls the site a "romantic
    vision" and floats the possibility that some "powerful people in
    town" wouldn't mind losing the football stadium portion of the
    project (BOSTON HERALD, 5/25).  Community leaders in Roxbury,
    home to CrossTown, "vowed a fight until the ground was broken to
    bring the megaplex to Roxbury" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Facilities, New England Patriots, NFL
  • METROPLEX RIVALRIES APPARENTLY KILL TEXAS STADIUM BILL

         TX House Speaker Pete Laney ruled on Tuesday that
    legislation to provide tax subsidies to erect new sports venues
    in Texas cities could not be considered, which "effectively
    killed the bill," according to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Laney's
    move came after State Rep. Kenneth Brimer raised a point of order
    on the bill charging that the House State Affairs Committee did
    not meet in the "announced" location when it considered the bill
    and thus prevented the public from having the chance to attend
    the committee discussion, as required by law (John Williams,
    HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/24).  Brimer, who resides in Kennedale, near
    Arlington, apparently was motivated to defeat the bill because
    the final version "forbid the Mavericks from moving to
    Arlington."  The bill was sponsored by Dallas State Rep. Royce
    West, and was called "typical Dallas arrogance," by Arlington
    Mayor Richard Greene, who is also upset about a letter from
    Dallas that threatens to sue Arlington if they negotiate with the
    Mavericks.  Dallas Mayor Steve Bartlett says Brimer's dismissal
    of the bill on a technicality was "a sneak attack.  Mr. Brimer,
    for reasons known only to him, essentially declared war on his
    neighbors."  Mavericks GM Norm Sonju said that the death of the
    bill could perhaps lead "to the exodus of other professional
    sports teams in the state" (Christopher Ave, FT. WORTH STAR-
    TELEGRAM, 5/25).
         KING JERRY:  Irving officials said the defeat of the bill
    "doesn't have any material effect" on the city's potential
    cooperation with Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones for improvements to
    Texas Stadium.  Jones is seeking partial funding for a $180M
    renovation of the stadium, including sealing the roof, adding
    several thousand more seats and an interactive theme park (FT.
    WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Facilities, Southwest Sports Group
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