SBD/6/Facilities Venues

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         In Orlando, the DeVos family is looking to build a
    multipurpose training and practice facility to accomodate its NBA
    and IHL franchises.  The facility would include an ice rink and
    health club open to the public, a basketball court, and office
    space for the Magic and Solar Bears.  Although no timetable has
    been set, they are looking to the north side of Orlando (George
    Diaz, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/6).
         FACE LIFT FOR O-RENA:  The Orlando Arena will be shut down
    for six weeks in August to install 1,000 seats to the lower bowl,
    expand locker rooms and put in a new ice-making system.  The cost
    is estimated at $4M and will be paid for mostly by the DeVos'
    (Dan Tracy, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/6).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, NBA, Orlando Magic

         The Rams could collect "millions of dollars" from FANS Inc.
    if the new St. Louis dome is not ready for the team's first two
    games scheduled there (October 22 & November 12), according to
    Lorraine Kee of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  Those terms are in
    the closing agreement signed last week after the Rams sought
    "assurances" that the $260M stadium would be completed on time.
    The only "extenuating circumstances" would be a major fire,
    severe weather, an earthquake or "war, civil riot or
    insurrection."  According to FANS Inc.'s Thomas Eagleton, the
    Rams "felt they were at a significant risk if the stadium wasn't
    completed on time."  The team reportedly sought a sum
    "considerably larger" than $1M, but it was "negotiated downward."
    The Rams also sought and received guarantees on the sale of
    luxury boxes and club seats.  FANS must sell 95 luxury boxes by
    August 31.  FANS has already sold 75.  If they do not, the St.
    Louis Convention and Visitors Commission will have to pay for
    each vacant suite for five years and each vacant club seat for
    three years, or until sold (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 7/6).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, LA Rams

         MI Gov. John Engler's rejection of casino gambling as a
    funding methid for a new Tigers' stadium last week "set back" the
    team's latest efforts.  The Tigers believe they must get started
    building this year "or they'll lose still another season of
    playing in a new stadium."  In his column in the DETROIT FREE
    PRESS, Bob Talbert reports that a source close to Tigers/Little
    Caesars/Red Wings Owner Mike Ilitch said that "if they can't
    start now, the Tigers will be forced to move."  Talbert writes
    that if a new stadium is rejected this time, "don't be surprised
    to see Ilitch move not only the Tigers out of Detroit but the
    Little Caesars headquarters, too" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/2).

    Print | Tags: Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Facilities

         Islander ownership is watching with "keen interest" the
    Devils' problems in New Jersey, according to Peter Botte in this
    morning's N.Y. POST.  Yesterday, Islander CEO Bob Rosenthal said
    the team is going to take "prudent, calculated" steps to rebuild
    the franchise.  One of which is to "address the Nassau Coliseum
    as a facility."  Rosenthal:  "We need either a dramatic
    renovation or a new facility to make us competitive for our fans,
    for this franchise."  Rosenthal stressed that the team was "not
    moving," however, with so many cities "willing to embrace and
    invest" in a pro team, they "expect the same" from the county,
    Long Island and the state.  Rosenthal said the team has had "good
    and ongoing" discussions with Nassau County Exec Thomas Giulotta
    about a new building -- either adjacent to the existing Coliseum
    or in the Belmont Park area.  But he also noted that "bare-
    scratch minimum refurbishments," including renegotiating the
    existing lease, are "critical" to being competitive in what
    remains for now a three-team market.  If a new building is not
    possible Rosenthal believes that, "at the very least," they need
    to upgrade their exisiting site by increasing seating capacity,
    adding more luxury boxes and improving various amenities (N.Y.
    POST, 7/6).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New Jersey Devils

         Spurs President Jack Diller said yesterday that talk of the
    team wanting its own arena was "premature," according to today's
    SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS.  San Antonio Mayor Bill Thornton also
    "continued to insist" that the Alamodome should be the team's
    home.  Spurs Chair Robert McDermott, who was quoted Wednesday
    calling the dome "unsuitable," said he "didn't have a time frame"
    on needs for a new arena, nor whether it would have to be
    publically financed.  McDermott:  "In other cities, it has been
    attractive to private investors.  Hopefully, it will be here,
    too."  Rumors the team would relocate if not given a new arena
    were also downplayed by one Spurs investor, USAA Property
    Holdings.  In a statement issued by the company:  "As an
    investor, USAA remains committed to keeping the Spurs in San
    Antonio and we believe the franchise can operate successfully in
    the Alamodome for the forseeable future."  Mayor Thornton said he
    asked Diller two weeks ago whether his goal was "financial
    security or construction of a new arena."  Thornton:  "His answer
    was quick and clear:  Their goal was to make the team financially
    secure based on regular-season revenue" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-
    NEWS, 7/6).  In a release, Diller said, "Spurs management is
    currently working with city officials to try to find ways for the
    Spurs to remain financially viable in the Alamodome.  Until every
    such avenue has been fully explored it would be premature to
    discuss the need for any alternative facility" (Spurs).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, San Antonio Spurs
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