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The only thing "likely" to keep a the NHL in South FL is a deal between its two richest men: Wayne Huizenga and Micky Arison, according to the MIAMI HERALD. Panthers Owner Huizenga and Heat Owner Arison both want out of the Miami Arena and both want taxpayers to pay for a new arena. Metro Commissioner Maurice Ferre: "If Huizenga and Arison came together and told us they wanted a modern stadium, we would have to act. If they don't come together, then there is really nothing to talk about" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/20).
A King County committee revised the proposal negotiated between a county executive and the Mariners on Wednesday, capping the amount taxpayers will spend on a retractable dome at $240.8M. Heath Foster of the Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE writes that the revision, and several others increase "the likelihood the full 13-member council will support" the plan in a vote today. Other amendments: the proposed .1 cent sales tax will also pay off the $70M debt for the repair of the Kingdome and make $100M in Kingdome improvements for the Seahawks; the county will not contribute to the cost of designing the stadium -- estimated at $5M-$10M; and the county will not pay for any construction overruns. Mariners Pres. John Ellis argued against saying his team will lose $15M a year until a new park opens in '99 and that the their investment in the park will top $250M (NEWS TRIBUNE, 7/20).
Massport Exec Dir Stephen Tocco argued that only the sports pieces of a megaplex can draw private investment which can be used to reduce the amount of public funds needed for a convention center. Meanwhile, House Ways and Means Chair Thomas Finneran, a megaplex opponent, said legislative support for a convention center-only bond issue would be a "deadlock cinch" as long as it was backed by a hotel "shelf" tax to kick in if revenues failed to cover the costs. Tocco has called for a p.r. campaign to push for a full megaplex as a job generator for Boston's inner city. Tocco said Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter will help lead a pro-megaplex effort (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 7/20). Members of the megaplex commission have expressed "chagrin" that five weeks after filing legislation to authorize construction of the project, House Speaker Charles Flaherty still has not assigned a bill to a committee (Richard Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 7/20).