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  • A'S OFFERED AN ESCAPE CLAUSE IN LEASE WITH RAIDERS' RETURN

         The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum board agreed earlier
    this week to allow potential A's owners Steven Schott and Kenneth
    Hofman to terminate their lease in '98 if renovations do not go
    as planned and the club continues to lose money, according to the
    S.F. CHRONICLE.  Oakland Coliseum President George Vukasin:
    "We're very comfortable with that three-year window because these
    people bought the team because they want to keep it in the East
    Bay, not just make money" (Peter Fimrite, S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Oakland Athletics
  • GAO REPORT GIVES DC A NEW ESTIMATE OF ARENA COSTS

         New figures, prepared by the GAO and presented yesterday at
    a congressional hearing on DC's arena project, show the District
    should expect to spend $56.3M to buy land and prepare a site for
    the city's proposed downtown arena, according to the WASHINGTON
    POST.  The estimate, while slightly higher than the original
    $53M, fits within DC's financing plan (Michael Fletcher,
    WASHINGTON POST, 7/13).
         TROUBLEMAKER:  An editorial in today's WASHINGTON POST
    faults BET Founder Robert Johnson for attempting to hold up
    construction of the arena.  The POST:  "Unfortunately, Mr.
    Johnson's interest in becoming a major sportsman is on a
    collision course with the city's best chance to revive the heart
    of downtown Washington" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/13).
    

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  • LIONS FOCUS ON ANOTHER DEN; TELL PONTIAC THEY ARE LEAVING

         The Lions have reached an impasse in their negotiations for
    a new lease at Pontiac Silverdome and "could vacate the stadium
    as early as 1999," according to this morning's OAKLAND PRESS.
    Lions COO Chuck Schmidt: "Right now, we have reached the position
    that there's no reason to discuss it further.  We are
    concentrating all our efforts on our other alternatives."  The
    City of Pontiac has been negotiating with the Lions and the
    Silverdome since last September.  The team has one of the worst
    lease arrangement in the NFL which runs through 2004, but the
    Lions could buy out the remaining years.  Schmidt said
    "preliminary talks are already under way for a new stadium in
    Wayne County" (Kowalski & Gray, OAKLAND PRESS, 7/13).  OAKLAND
    PRESS' Kowalski writes that Lions "have a point" about leaving
    the Silverdome, as "the city has done miserably in marketing the
    Silverdome" and wants to make "huge profits off the Lions'
    innovative ideas and hard work."  The Lions "threat" comes "in
    the perfect climate for a team looking to relocate" and Lions
    President William Clay Ford, Jr. is the "wild card" to this, as
    he wants the Lions to be a first class organization and could use
    the dispute "as an excuse" to build a state-of-the-art facility"
    (OAKLAND PRESS, 7/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Lions, Facilities, General Motors, NFL
  • MARINERS WILL TO STAY 'TIL '99 IF SALES-TAX INCREASE PASSES

         Mariners VP Paul Isaki said the team's owners will invest
    another $70M to keep the team in Seattle until 1999 if the sales
    tax increase to build a new ballpark passes on September 19.  But
    if the team does not get a decision in September, the team would
    "leave Seattle rather than risk playing the 1999 season in the
    Kingdome."  Debate begins today in a "divided" Metro King County
    Council whether or not to increase the sales tax by .1% to build
    a ballpark and upgrade the Kingdome.  Isaki:  "We'll go two years
    (of more losses) to get this thing built, but we won't go any
    longer than that."  If a vote fails, Mariners owners "will barely
    have enough time to sell the team before they have to start
    underwriting a lame-duck '96 baseball season" (Rebecca Boren,
    SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 7/14).
         SEAHAWKS' RISKY STRATEGY?  Columnist Art Thiel writes on the
    Seahawks' threat to leave without a better lease and $150M in
    improvements to the Kingdome.  The "security" of the team's first
    18 years was "undercut" by two events in the last 12 months --
    "The Kingdome broke.  The cities of Oakland and St. Louis went
    for broke and probably will be broke."  Thiel says the team's
    strategy "runs the risk that collective voter rage will tell both
    teams to drop dead"  (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 7/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures
  • ONE-UP-MANSHIP IN L.A. AS COLISEUM HAS DEAL TO BUILD SUITES

         One day after Pasadena City officials approved a renovation
    of the Rose Bowl in an attempt to lure an NFL team, L.A. Memorial
    Coliseum officials said they were "very close" signing a 10-year
    deal with concessionaire Service America Corp., "providing the
    revenue necessary for the financing and building of 41 luxury
    boxes."  The installation of luxury boxes would make the Coliseum
    "an attractive site" for potential NFL expansion or to owners of
    an existing team. Officials estimate if the agreement goes into
    effect by October 1 as planned, luxury boxes could be ready for
    the '96 season (Bill Plaschke, L.A. TIMES, 7/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, NFL
  • PATRIOTS' KRAFT REPORTEDLY CONSIDERING PSL OPTIONS

         Patriots Owner Robert Kraft is "exploring" the option of
    PSLs to help finance a new domed stadium for his team or
    "possibly major renovations" at Foxboro Stadium, according to
    Phil Primack in this morning's BOSTON HERALD.  Primack reports
    that Kraft has met with PSL guru Max Muhleman.  Local officials
    opposed to the Megaplex supported the PSL idea.  MA House Ways
    and Means Committee Chair Thomas Finneran:  "It's a huge
    improvement over expecting taxpayers to pay for a stadium.  The
    (PSL) is much closer to real money than anything else we've seen"
    (BOSTON HERALD, 7/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots
  • SEAHAWKS DEMAND $150M FOR KINGDOME; L.A. ON THEIR MINDS?

         The Seahawks yesterday "demanded" more than $150M in
    improvements for the Kingdome and a new lease similar to those
    attained recently by the Rams and Raiders "as the price of their
    support" for raising the King County sales tax to build a new
    baseball stadium.  In today's SEATTLE POST-INTELLEGENCER, Rebecca
    Boren reports that the new demand "significantly upped the ante
    for keeping the Seahawks in Seattle.  And it threatens to blow
    up" the campaign to raise the sales tax by .1% to build the
    Mariners a retractable dome.  The Seahawks have claimed for the
    last past year that their lease with the Kingdome is invalid
    because of the county's failure to maintain the facility as a
    "first class facility."  Since that claim a year ago, the team
    has escalated demands for improvements from $100M to yesterday's
    $150M (SEATTLE POST-INTELLEGENCER, 7/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Vulcan Ventures
  • THE NAME THAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS

         A WI legislator is proposing that the Brewers change thier
    name to the "Wisconsin Brewers" if state funds are used to pay
    for a new stadium for the team.  State Rep. Mark Meyer wrote a
    letter to WI Gov. Tommy Thompson calling for the name change.
    MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL columnist Michael Bauman writes "by
    all means, change the name" if it means the team gets a new
    stadium.  Bauman notes that while Milwaukeans would oppose such a
    move, the WI Legislature would be more receptive to funding if a
    state-wide name is used.  Bauman: "The deal -- give a name, get a
    stadium -- would be a steal.  It would be like trading Ron
    Rightnower for Hideo Nomo" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Milwaukee Brewers
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