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  • BREWERS PERFORMANCE ON THE FIELD NOT HELPING STADIUM EFFORTS

         Republican legislative leaders said one of the reasons they
    do not want to take up a Milwaukee stadium financing package now
    is the Brewers' "poor win-loss record," writes Amy Rinard in this
    morning's MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  Senate Majority Leader
    Michael Ellis:  "Wrapping old cheese in a new box is still old
    cheese."  WI Gov. Tommy Thompson has proposed taking up the
    matter after the state budget bill is approved in early July.
    Assembly Speaker David Prosser:  "If they won six games in a row,
    I'd say let's have a special session right away."  Stadium Task
    Force Chair Robert Kahlor said it would be "very unfortunate" if
    legislators only looked at the team's won-loss record.  Kahlor:
    "We're probably not going to get a competitive team until we get
    a new stadium."  Rinard notes Ellis is opposed to state funds
    going to the effort, but would be willing to authorize the City
    of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to levy local taxes.  Ellis:
    "We are not going to build a stadium for Bud Selig using state
    dollars" (Amy Rinard, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Facilities, Milwaukee Brewers
  • FLORIDA GOVERNOR APPROVES SALES TAX FOR TAMPA STADIUM

         FL Gov. Lawton Chiles agreed to spend $60M in state sales
    tax money to held build a new stadium for the Bucs, according to
    Robert Chepak in the TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Despite "concerns the team
    will leave Florida," the move by Chiles is "crucial to
    Hillsborough County's proposal to build a new stadium for the
    Bucs."  Bucs GM Rich McKay: "It is a vital piece of the puzzle.
    This means the process is underway to begin to finance this
    stadium."  Chepak reports the subsidy is only a portion of the
    expected $168M needed to build the stadium and the Tampa Stadium
    Authority will now turn to raising private money for the balance.
    State Rep. Jim Davis: "Without this bill, I think there are some
    serious problems with keeping the Bucs in the Tampa Bay area.
    With it, you have more of a fighting chance, but there are no
    guarantees" (Robert Chepak, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/15).  The bill
    specifies that before the team can use the money, it will have to
    sign a 20-year lease in Tampa (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/15).
         FOUR WALK IN, ONE COMES OUT:  Architects Lescher & Mahoney
    Sports of Tampa and Criswell, Blizzard & Blouin of St. Petersburg
    were the groups selected by a six-member committee of St.
    Petersburg officials and representatives of the Devil Rays to
    plan the estimated $50M improvements to the ThunderDome, reports
    Rob Shaw in the TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Shaw notes the fact that the
    group was local "did not go unnoticed by the panel as Devil Rays
    Owner Vince Naimoli said he would rather see a local company get
    the contract" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/15).  Kansas City's HOK, the firm
    that designed the ThunderDome, as well as Baltimore's Camden
    Yards and Denver's Coors Field, came in last in the bidding
    (David Rogers, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays
  • MASSPORT AIMS TO BECOME LEAD DEVELOPER FOR BOSTON MEGAPLEX

         The Massachusetts Port Authority is trying to edge out the
    state's Convention Center Authority and be named lead developer
    of the proposed megaplex, according to Meg Vaillancourt and
    Richard Kindleberger of the BOSTON GLOBE.  Massport said it would
    form a public-private partnership to secure at least $90M in
    private investment for the project.  The GLOBE reports that while
    Massport Exec Dir Stephen Tocco declined to discuss corporate
    partners, one leading candidate is reportedly London-based
    Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which owns the
    Boston Wharf Co., a major property holder in the South Boston
    area designated for the megaplex.  ITT Corp. has been identified
    as the best corporate sponsor, but "sources differed" on whether
    ITT was still interested in the project.  Massport's bonding
    authority and ownership of 26 acres of the proposed 135-acre
    megaplex site could give the it an advantage in helping speed the
    project's development.  House Ways and Means Chair Thomas
    Finneran, after meeting with Tocco:  "I'm not ruling it out, but
    I'm not sure their charter includes such real estate development
    and financing activities" (Vaillancourt & Kindleberger, BOSTON
    GLOBE, 6/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities
  • PLAN TO PAIR CLEVELAND STADIUM TAX WITH SCHOOL FUNDS

         Any financing plan for the renovation of Cleveland Stadium
    "will probably be paired with a financial package to help city
    schools," according to the PLAIN DEALER.  Stephen Koff reports
    that such a plan, "trashed immediately" after it was suggested by
    Mayor Michael White two weeks ago, "has since gained support."
    White suggested a 10% tax on paid, off-street parking for the
    stadium, plus a 2% tax on parking to pay for extracurricular
    school activities.  At a council meeting Monday, many members
    "said they would not support Stadium improvements unless the city
    also finds money for its struggling schools."  Councilman Bill
    Patmon: "I cannot vote for any proposal that takes care of
    Cleveland's Browns and does not take care of Cleveland's kids"
    (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 6/14). A CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
    editorial calls on Browns Owner Art Modell to extend his '99
    deadline for a new stadium, if he really a solution "without
    debate and rancor":  "If the consensus building effort is to go
    on hiatus -- or at least underground -- for seven months so that
    the Browns can work to put fannies in the seats without a
    divisive issue complicating that job, Mr. Modell must be willing
    to push back the target date" (CRAIN'S, 6/12 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Facilities
  • SI EXAMINES THE CONTINUING TREND OF HOLDING CITIES HOSTAGE

         In the current issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Tim Crothers
    examines the plight of the Devils and their possible move to
    Nashville along with "at least 38 other franchises across North
    America" who are "the latest victims" of owners trying to
    "blackmail communities" into new stadiums.  Among the cities
    mentioned as being manipulated by "plutocratic extortioners":
    Cincinnati, Seattle and San Diego.  Crothers, on Al Davis -- "the
    patron saint of stadium extortion": "For a few dozen skyboxes
    Davis would pledge a move to Mogadishu."  Crothers writes,
    "What's going on here?  Well, in recent years, the owners of pro
    sports franchises have discovered that one way money can most
    readily be saved and earned is with sweetheart stadium deals."
    Crothers reports that at least 14 NFL teams "are seeking new
    stadiums, better leases or major renovations."  However, Crothers
    notes that "several economists, including Stanford's Roger Noll
    and Lake Forest [IL] College's Robert Baade, point out that the
    $200 million sunk into a stadium could be spent on an industrial
    park that would generate many more jobs and much more revenue
    than a new ballpark would."  Crothers concludes, "Unfortunately,
    when business intersects with sports these days, reason often
    seems to fly out the window" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 6/19 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New Jersey Devils, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Time Warner, YankeeNets
  • VIKINGS MAY GET NEW METRODOME DEAL SAYS CITY COUNCIL PRES

         Minneapolis City Council President Jackie Cherryhomes said
    yesterday that she is willing to open negotiations to rework the
    final 16 years of the Vikings' lease at the Metrodome, according
    to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Weiner also
    reports that Cherryhomes is "eager to explore the financial
    problems" of the Twins, who have a Metrodome escape clause in
    '97.  Her statements comes as she is seeking to avoid "continual
    threats" from the city's sports franchises and avoid the "crisis
    negotiations" such as those that marked the North Stars'
    departure in '93 and the near-move of the Timberwolves in '94.
    Vikings President Roger Headrick: "That's probably the first
    official positive news that we've had from any government
    official on this subject after almost two years of discussing it"
    (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Facilities, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, Southwest Sports Group
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