SBD/26/Facilities Venues

LIONS SET JANUARY DEADLINE ON SILVERDOME

     The Lions have set a January deadline to get a new
Silverdome lease negotiated with Pontiac, MI, officials,
according to this morning's DETROIT NEWS.  If the deadline is not
met, the Lions will move out.  To do so, the team would have to
buy out the remaining years on their lease.   The deadline
announcement caused Oakland County Exec L. Brooks Patterson to
say "there's just a slight chance" the Lions will stay in the
Silverdome after 2004.  Pontiac officials wouldn't comment, but
apparently "won't bargain" until a new mayor is elected next
week.  The Lions claim if the city "doesn't make some concessions
in the current agreement," the team will lose $13M over the next
10 years.  Silverdome Exec Dir Eric Walker says he sees "a lot of
discrepancies in the team's figures," and claims the team "really
wants a $3 million annual windfall at the expense of the city."
Lions COO Chuck Schmidt, who described the team's lease as "among
the worst stadium leases" in the NFL, said the team has proposed
to take over the $4.4M in interest payments construction bonds
until 2004 and to manage the dome (John Larabee, DETROIT NEWS,
10/26).
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