SBD/7/Facilities Venues

NASHVILLE BEER VOTE PASSES; CITY PLANS TO MOVE ON DEVILS

     Last night, the Nashville Metro Council voted 26-10 to allow
beer sales at the new arena being built downtown, just 85 feet
away from a Baptist Church.  A city law prohibits beer sales
within 100 feet of a church, but Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen
argued that without an arena exemption, the city's chances of
landing an NHL team -- most notably the Devils -- "were doomed."
Bredesen said the vote gives the city "a strong bargaining
position" and "makes it clear that there was overwhelming support
in the council for sports."  He said he would begin this morning
to try and convince the Devils to move (AP/MINNEAPOLIS STAR
TRIBUNE, 6/7).  In New York, Larry Brooks writes that the "league
seems to take the position that if the Devils leave, fewer fans
will be hurt than if the Rangers were to leave."  He writes,
"Excuse me, what question does that answer?  If the Devils leave,
the NHL will lose fans" (N.Y. POST, 6/7).
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