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"A source familiar with the Mavericks' new arena negotiations" says the team is looking at a site in suburban Carrollton, TX, according to this morning's FORT WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM. The site is a block from Lewisville, where voters have already turned down a tax increase proposal for a new facility. Richie Whitt reports that Southwest Airlines and Blockbuster "are the leading candidates" to land the arena's naming rights (FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 6/30).
Red Sox Exec VP John Buckley said yesterday "the team is not looking at other possible sights in the wake of a Tuesday public hearing where some 600 South Boston residents expressed stiff opposition" to their plans for a new park. In Boston this morning, Richard Kindleberger reports that the team will "seek out South Boston community and business leaders to hear their concerns" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/30). Phil Primack reports that "a well placed State House source" says the Legislature will not take action on a megaplex bill this summer (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/30).
DC officials are "discreetly" seeking a better deal to finance the city's share of the costs for the proposed downtown sports arena, according to the WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL. One "eye-catching" offer is from Morgan Stanley, which financed Baltimore's Camden Yards. NationsBank and Crestar Bank have offered to loan the city about $53M to cover site preparation costs, with the loan being repaid by a new city tax on businesses. But Michelle Bernard, Chair of the DC Redevelopment Land Agency, which controls the city-owned site, said last week the NationsBank/Crestar financing proposal was "preposterous" and "not economically sound" for the District (Thomas Hall, WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/30 issue). In this morning's WASHINGTON POST, Michael Fletcher reports that "residents and business owners of Chinatown" -- where the new arena will be located -- want Caps/Bullets Owner Abe Pollin to "address more of the community's concerns" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/30).
On a "long day pockmarked by tough talk, bombs of confusion and acrimonious debate," Cincinnati's City Council approved a $540M plan to finance new stadiums for both the Reds and Bengals through an increase in Hamilton County's sales tax from 5.5% to 6.5%. The 5-4 vote came five minutes before a midnight deadline set by Bengals Owner Mike Brown for a stadium plan to be in place. Brown said he would negotiate exclusively with MD Stadium Authority officials if a plan was not agreed upon. The tax will go into effect October 1. The stadiums, to be constructed along Cincinnati's riverfront, are expected to be completed by 2000. Brown said he "couldn't be happier": "We cried out and people heard us" (Green, Goldberg & Michaud, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/30). Brown, in a statement: "The Bengals belong in Cincinnati. I've never felt any other way" (Bengals). THE PLAN: TAXES: Hamilton County will raise their sales tax from 5.5% to 6.5%, subject to referendum which could be go on the ballot if enough signatures are collected by opposition groups. The state and teams will also contribute financing; OPERATIONS: The county will operate and maintain the stadiums; SCHOOLS: Cincinnati's public schools will receive funding, at least $10M/year in building improvements; PARKING: County maintains "substantially the same" amount as now available at Riverfront Stadium; RIVERFRONT: The county will assume all debts, obligations and responsibilities for the old stadium. The city will give the county all revenue collected from the stadium. The team's city-owned practice facility will also be transferred to the county; MARKETING: The Cincinnati Business Committee and Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce will form a marketing committee to market and lease new skyboxes and seats; FINANCES: Approximately $100M will be raised from the sales tax annually, with $46M for property tax relief, $35M for stadium financing, and additional funds for a new jail and other projects (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/30). THE PARKS: The Reds new stadium will have about 45,000 seats and have a similar design to Camden Yards and Jacobs Field. The football stadium will be constructed on Riverfront's site and seat around 70,000 with 100 corporate suites (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/30).