SBD/23/Facilities Venues


     Houston Mayor Bob Lanier and Harris County Judge Robert
Eckels said yesterday that local officials should consider
building a new open-air football stadium or renovating Rice
Stadium as a way of making sure the NFL stays -- "with or without
the Oilers," according to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Lanier believes
that such a stadium would have three advantages:  1) Stop
opposition from county and Astrodome USA officials, who manage
the county-owned facility (those groups believe a second dome
would compete with the Astrodome);  2) Cheaper than building a
multi-purpose domed stadium;  3) Free the Oilers, or another NFL
franchise, from playing in the Astrodome.  And, although neither
official would get specific on financing, Lanier mentioned a tax
on game tickets, a 5% rental car tax, and the creation of a
revenue-producing enterprise zone around the stadium as
possibilities (John Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/23).
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