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Miami city leaders met in an "emergency meeting" Wednesday and discussed ways to keep the Heat from leaving. Joanne Cavanaugh reports the city, which doesn't control the team's lease at Miami Arena, voted to try legal maneuvering to force the arena's operator to the negotiating table. The arena is operated by Leisure Management, 50% owned by Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga. City leaders charge a conflict of interest, since Huizenga is seeking a new arena in Broward County and the city's lease with Leisure prevents them from building a competing venue. Leisure officials deny a conflict, and say any competing facility would be built by another company. The city wants Leisure to extend the Heat's lease to make the seven-year-old facility more profitable for the team (MIAMI HERALD, 11/9).
Three Tampa politicians will announce a plan to build a new Bucs stadium in the historic Ybor City area and raise funds through a special tax in that area's entertainment district (ST. PETE TIMES, 11/10). Meanwhile, an architect visited Orlando's Citrus Bowl and examined the possibility of remodeling to meet the Bucs' needs (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/10)....The S.F. EXAMINER reports the 49ers are "stepping up efforts" to build a new stadium instead of remodeling 3Com Park. The 49ers have said they would finance their own stadium if given city land (S.F. EXAMINER, 11/9).
DC Mayor Marion Barry "is working on plans" to entice Redskins Owner Jack Kent Cooke to keep his team in the city, according to this morning's WASHINGTON POST. Under the plan, DC would demolish RFK Stadium and help Cooke build a new home on that site. Barry and Cooke met earlier this week to discuss options if the Redskins fail to secure a deal in Prince George's County, MD. Cooke, currently negotiating with MD officials, has twice abandoned plans in DC, and also has been driven away from Northern VA and Anne Arundel County, MD. Sources say Cooke still considers MD his "best hope" for getting a facility completed quickly, and DC officials insist they will only present a full plan if Cooke fails in MD. Barry administration officials familiar with the proposal say the city would pay for any street improvements or other infrastructure costs, while Cooke would finance the stadium (WASHINGTON POST, 11/10).