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Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and Tigers officials yesterday announced a plan to ensure the inclusion of "minority, women, small and city-based businesses" in the construction of the new $235M ballpark in downtown Detroit, according to the DETROIT NEWS. Under the Michigan Minority Business Development Council plan, at least 20% of the construction work will be performed by minority businesses, with 5% done by women-owned businesses. In addition, "at least" 25% of the work will go to Detroit-based businesses (Basheda & Serju, DETROIT NEWS, 11/21).
Developer Stephen Karp said yesterday he has had "preliminary" talks with both Red Sox and Boston city officials about building a new ballpark for the team at the site of the Sears building near Fenway Park, according to the BOSTON HERALD. Phil Primack notes Karp is motivated by "flat retail prospects" associated with his development of the Sears building. Karp said he is only pursuing a "concept" at this point, but added, "The city and the Red Sox both appear to be open-minded." Karp said a facility would fit on the Sears site, but he "may need some additional land." He also added that the Fenway area is already associated with baseball which would help neighborhood support of the project (BOSTON HERALD, 11/21).
The WI Supreme Court has ordered the parties in a suit seeking to prevent a five-county sales tax increase to build a new ballpark for the Brewers to trade written arguments by December 29 and set oral arguments for January 11. Stadium opponents argue the Legislature illegally set up the new taxing districts (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/21)....In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman writes while the Vikings can pay to escape their Metrodome lease, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission's Bill Lester says they would go to court to keep the team. Vikings President Roger Headrick says he has no plans to move (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/21)....NASCAR President Bill France spent three hours touring the Texas Motor Speedway with developer Bruton Smith on Sunday, but NASCAR still has not decided whether to award the track a Winston Cup race date (FT. WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM, 11/21)....Metro-Dade County mayoral candidate (and former Miami Mayor) Xavier Suarez wants to "raid the budgets of two county-supported agencies" to pay for a new downtown arena for the Heat. He proposes financing a new arena for the Heat become a top issue in the upcoming mayoral campaign. In other news, City of Miami commissioners agreed to try to buy out the company, Decoma Miami Associates, that manages the Miami Arena, to give the city more control over arena business including the upcoming lease negotiations with the Heat (MIAMI HERALD, 11/17)....The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the GA Hospitality and Travel Association all endorse the proposed citywide car rental tax to help finance a $200M downtown arena for the Hawks (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/18).
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the process of winning approval from federal regulators to fill wetlands on the proposed site of a new Bears stadium in Gary will take "at least a year," according to this morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE. And if the Corps requires a detailed environmental impact statement, "Super Bowl XXXIV in the year 2000 may come and go before a decision is made." Indiana officials hope to have a stadium ready by the time the Bears' Soldier Field lease expires in '99. Once the group files a formal application to fill the wetlands, the Corps will have a public-notice period of about 30 days. But according to the Corps' Project Manager David Gesl, if the project is deemed to have a major impact on the wetland, the Corps can require a full environmental impact statement which could stretch out the final decision on the project for up to five years (Swanson & Christian, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/21).