SBD/16/Facilities Venues

PLANS FORMALLY REVEALED FOR A NEW BEARS STADIUM IN GARY

     A group of Northwest IN business leaders, under the banner
of "Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland Entertainment," yesterday
announced plans for a 75,000-seat "futuristic" open-air stadium
complex in Gary, IN, called Planet Park, according to today's
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.  Designer Benjamin Wood said the stadium would
be a place where "sports can relate with the world of
cyberspace," adding that several thousand of the seats would have
control panels allowing fans to play interactive games.  The
group also said the Bears would remain the Chicago Bears.  In
addition to a stadium, Planet Park would also feature a family
resort, hotel, recreational vehicle park, amusement park and
nine-hole golf course.  There would also be a Bears Hall of Fame,
a "Planetary Garden," a multi-screen movie theatre and parking
for more than 25,000 cars with a special area for tailgating
(Michelle Campbell, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/16).  The plan calls
for a 60-40 public-private financing split, with public money
from a .5% Lake County income tax and PSLs and stadium-related
revenue the source of private funds (Christian & Kass, CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 11/16).
     REACTION:  Bears VP of Operations Ted Philips: "Contrary to
prior reports, we have not agreed to any deal.  We are still
looking at the Soldier Field proposal and the northwest Indiana
proposal.  There is a lot of work to be done."  The Bears are
scheduled to meet with Chicago officials next week regarding the
proposed renovation of Soldier Field (Mike Mulligan, CHICAGO SUN-
TIMES, 11/16).
     YER UP, YER HONOR:  Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he
counts "25 ifs" in the Gary proposal, while his Chicago
renovation proposal is a sure thing.  Daley: "We have an
engineering and construction date that can start Jan. 1.  We have
a financial package.  We have no ifs involved in any of those
things" (Fran Spielman, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/16).
     FROM INDIANA:  Cam Simpson writes in the INDIANAPOLIS STAR
that at a closed-door luncheon yesterday hosted by NIPSCO, Lake
County Council members were not "giving signals either way" about
the proposed income tax.  Council Member Fran DuPrey: "I think we
are going to be very cautious, I'm waiting to get more facts"
(INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/16).
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