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Houston officials told Oilers Owner Bud Adams "no" in his attempts to get public subsidies for a $235M domed stadium in downtown Houston. Also, Astros Owner Drayton McLane "faces an uphill battle" in his efforts to have more than $95M in improvements completed on the Astrodome, and it is "unclear" whether Rockets Owner Les Alexander can "muster" support for a new arena to replace the Summit, according to John Williams in the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Former Houston Mayor Fred Hofheinz: "People in Houston are conservative by nature...They don't want to spend their own money because deep in their hearts, they believe that the Astrodome and the Summit are good places to play baseball, basketball, and football." Adams has been the most vocal of the owners and has pledged to never play in the Astrodome again after the Oilers' lease expires in '97 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/5).
Mavericks Owner Don Carter says dealing with the city of Dallas on his new downtown sports arena project is like "like pulling a log through mud," according to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Frank Luksa writes, despite his frustration, Carter said he will exhaust every option with Dallas to build downtown before "negotiating with other suitors." Carter: "There's a place I could build an arena right now and could be turning ground in 60 days, but I'm not gonna do it. I'm absolutely committed to trying everything else first" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/7).
Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga may keep the Panthers in Dade County, according to Dexter Filkins in the MIAMI HERALD. After Huizenga and Heat Owner Micky Arison met last week, Filkins notes Dade County officials say signs "look better than ever" that there could be a deal to keep the Panthers in Dade County (MIAMI HERALD, 8/5)....In Atlanta, columnist Mark Bradley addressed the issue of tax money being used to build a new arena for the Hawks. Bradley writes that Hawks Owner Ted Turner "wants to buy a network, which presumably means it is prepared to spend billions. If a business can afford to pay billions, it should be able to handle a piddling $200 million. Why should public money be used when there's private money available? Why should taxpayers bear even a penny of the cost? ...Turner Broadcasting has the money. It needs none of ours" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/6)....Ted Jackovics writes in the TAMPA TRIBUNE about St. Petersburg's ThunderDome, "The Tampa Bay Devil Rays won't play baseball there until 1998, but already some business activity is taking place around the Dome." He notes the property value around the stadium is rising and local merchants have been approached about selling their businesses (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 8/7)....In Boston, Will McDonough writes Red Sox officials will sit down with Gillette this month "to see if they can make a deal on the land belonging to Gillette near South Station, where the Red Sox want to locate their new stadium" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/5).