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Redskins Owner Jack Kent Cooke last week decided to "give up" on plans to build a stadium at Laurel, MD (Jon Morgan, WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/27). Cooke has now turned his sights on a proposed area in Prince George's County, MD, known as Wilson Farm -- a site that MD Gov. Parris Glendening said that he would "enthusiastically support" if local officials "overcome transportation and environmental concerns." Glendening declined to discuss how much state aid might be needed to build roads for the proposed site, but sources said Cooke is seeking about $70M. Glendening also believes that officials "could resolve questions" concerning prehistoric fossils that have been found on the site (Charles Babington, WASHINGTON POST, 5/27). POLLIN THREATENS TO PULL OUT: Capitals and Bullets Owner Abe Pollin says he will "abandon his plans" to build a downtown arena in DC if he is asked to move from Gallery Place or to alter the arena's design. The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts recently issued a report suggesting that the arena be built elsewhere. Speaking with commercial real estate brokers recently, Pollin "forcefully rejected" that idea: "I will not move this arena one inch. If they want me to move it again, I'll move it out of the District" (Thomas Hall, WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/1 issue).
A poll conducted by MA's Clark Univ. reveals that "by strong margins" voters oppose using tax dollars to pay for a Boston megaplex, with an even more "overwhelming majority" against public financing of sports stadiums, according to the BOSTON HERALD. Of those polled, 53% agree that megaplex financing "should be completely in the hand of private investors with no help from the state government" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 5/30). Paul Much, who is advising the megaplex commission, said the lease agreement negotiated with the Patriots is an "attractive deal" for the state. In addition to his $5M annual payments to the state, Patriots Owner Robert Kraft has agreed to cover operating costs for the proposed domed stadium. In his commission report, Much states that it is "highly unlikely" the facility can be built without state funding, and he suggests approaching corporate partners. ITT is currently considering a $100M investment in the megaplex, and the state has also contacted AT&T, Fidelity Investments, General Electric, and Gillette (Meg Vaillancourt, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/27). Gov. William Weld has even gone as far as to say he might "scuttle" the entire project if a statewide tax is part of the deal, according to Friday's BOSTON HERALD. Weld: "Anyone who is saying that Weld and [Lt. Gov. Paul] Cellucci have to break their no-new-taxes pledge is really saying 'We don't want this deal to go'" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 5/26).