SBD/22/Facilities Venues

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  • ALL SIDES IN CHICAGO CAUTIOUSLY EXPLORE DOME OPTIONS

         Bears President Michael McCaskey, who has stated he opposes
    the idea of his team playing in a domed stadium, urged IL Gov.
    Jim Edgar to "quickly get the ball moving" on talks to build a
    dome in downtown Chicago, according to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
    Aides for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who has said he will not
    support a taxpayer-financed stadium, say the Mayor "will
    consider" a dome that "doesn't burden taxpayer wallets."  The
    TRIB's Kiley and Pearson write that "effectively" means Daley is
    "giving up his push for an open-air stadium" tied to the Univ. of
    IL-Chicago.  The "McDome" project would be tied to the McCormick
    Place Convention Center and is being touted by developer Richard
    Stein and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA).
    "The key to the plan" is the MPEA's ability to issue bonds to
    cover the project's cost, with few taxpayer dollars required.
    Under the plan, the MPEA would issue at least $285M in bonds to
    build the project.  Revenues from tickets, PSLs, skyboxes,
    advertising, concessions and parking from Bears games and other
    events would pay back the bonds.  Taxpayers would fund related
    public works, similar to the $30M the state put up for
    improvements around the privately-financed United Center.  One
    possible obstacle, raised by McCaskey, is how much the team would
    get from stadium revenues versus how much would be needed to
    retire the construction debt (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/21).
         EARLY REAX:  An editorial in this week's CRAIN'S CHICAGO
    BUSINESS urges all sides to "focus on McDome."  CRAIN'S calls for
    Daley to "throw his weight" behind the plan and "overcome his
    anger over Mr. McCaskey's threats."  The editorial calls for a
    "modest" contribution from the city and state.  "If Mr. McCaskey
    doesn't bite at that, we'll gladly bid the Bears farewell"
    (CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS, 8/21 issue).  A dome in Chicago "would
    change the face" of the city "and alter the character of its
    sports," writes the TRIB's  Andrew Gottesman.  A dome could
    create a huge economic boost to the city, with events such as the
    Super Bowl and Final Four bringing hundreds of millions of
    dollars to the economy (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/22).
         GREEN GRASS, NO SKY:  Developer Stein is exploring the
    option of placing grass in any McDome project, according to this
    morning's CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.  Stein has reportedly talked with
    researchers at Michigan State who placed grass in the Silverdome
    for the '94 World Cup.  Designers say McDome could be the first
    dome built with a grass field in mind, with a roof that would
    allow in more light and facilities to maintain the turf (CHICAGO
    SUN TIMES, 8/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bears, Facilities
  • BOSTON MAYOR CALLS FOR REEBOK TO TAKE OVER FENWAY

         Boston Mayor Thomas Menino yesterday suggested "that if the
    Red Sox eventually leave Fenway Park, the ballpark might serve as
    the location for the corporate headquarters of Reebok," according
    to this morning's BOSTON GLOBE.  Menino said Fenway "would make a
    great campus" for the company, which is currently based in
    Stoughton, MA.  Menino, who said he had not discussed the idea
    with Reebok officials, said a Reebok-Fenway deal would give the
    company "a great showcase," while "maintaining the agricultural
    integrity" of Fenway.  However, Menino "signaled" that keeping
    the Sox at Fenway could be his first priority.  Don Aucoin writes
    that the Mayor "may urge the Red Sox to take another look at an
    earlier city proposal -- already spurned by the club -- to expand
    Fenway Park in its existing location."  The team is in favor of
    replacing Fenway with a ballpark in South Boston (BOSTON GLOBE,
    8/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Facilities, Reebok
  • IN AND AROUND THE BELTWAY: BARRY GETS FINGERS IN ARENA PIE

         Washington, DC's financial control board is reportedly upset
    with Mayor Marion Barry over a $47M plan to rent office space
    from a friend, saying "it is full of hidden costs and apparently
    violates city procurement laws."  The leases are key since to the
    plan for a new downtown arena since the city needs to move about
    720 office workers from two buildings on the arena site (Philip
    Pan, WASHINGTON POST, 8/20).  The WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL
    reports that two DC street closings, required to construct the
    downtown arena, "could pose major problems to completing the
    project."  The issue goes before the National Capital Planning
    Commission (WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/24).
         REDSKINS LAND:  The POST examines the $72M in public funds
    necessary for Jack Kent Cooke's new Redskins Stadium in Prince
    George's County, MD.  The money primarily will be used for
    infrastructure improvements.  The consensus of economists
    surveyed by the POST:  "If Cooke's assumptions bear out, and many
    of them are rational assumptions, the project would be a net
    financial gain for the public (Leonhardt & Gillis, WASHINGTON
    POST, 8/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Washington Redskins
  • STADIUM NOTES

         The Tampa Sports Authority began assembling a team of
    experts yesterday to help build a new stadium for the Buccaneers.
    They are currently searching for an expert on stadium
    construction costs, an accounting firm and a financial adviser
    (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 8/22)....In Atlanta, Len Pasquarelli reports that
    "odds now appear favorable" that repairs to the Georgia Dome
    "will be adequate enough" so that the Falcons can play their
    regular season home opener on September 3 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
    8/22)....The NJSEA has acknowledged that it had "other reasons --
     besides messy fans -- to justify the 67 percent increase" in
    parking fees for Giants games.  The authority plans to use some
    of the money to study an off-site parking and shuttle bus plan to
    relieve parking lot congestion (Bergen RECORD, 8/22)....In
    Milwaukee, state negotiators "drove a hard bargain" in the
    recently-released deal to build a $250M stadium "sources involved
    in the negotiations" told the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  The
    team originally pushed for an escape clause from the deal if
    attendance fell to a certain level, but did not get it.  Also,
    the team "choked initially" at a state demand for a $100M
    contribution, but eventually agreed to kick in $90M (MILWAUKEE
    JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/22)....Central FL is being considered as the
    site for a $50M bass-fishing theme park planned by the Bass
    Anglers Sportsman Society.  Volusia and Brevard counties are
    among 200 potential locations for the facility that is to be
    called B.A.S.S. Outdoor America (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Facilities, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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