SBD/28/Facilities Venues

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         Among the features of the new Texas Motor Speedway is an
    "innovative" dual-banking design which will make the track "user-
    friendly" for both NASCAR and IndyCars.  The Motor Speedway has
    not committed to either IndyCar or the IRL (John Sturbin, FT.
    WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/28).... Hundreds of Detroit voters
    attended a public hearing last night with the City Council on the
    new plan to build a $235M ballpark.  With the "advocates solidly
    outweighing the critics, stadium supporters believe the council
    is likely to approve the plan" (DETROIT NEWS, 11/28).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, IndyCar, NASCAR, Speedway Motorsports Inc.

         Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said yesterday he will not
    support building a domed stadium downtown to keep the Bears in
    Chicago, according to Kass & Pearson of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
    Bears officials had asked IL Gov. Jim Edgar to revisit his McDome
    proposal -- attaching a domed stadium to McCormick Place -- but
    Daley is sticking with his $156M plan to renovate Soldier Field.
    Daley's comments seem to indicate "in his town it's his deal or
    no deal -- even if it means the Bears moving to Gary."  City
    officials have accused the Bears of using the McDome plan and
    offers from Gary as "bargaining chips to extract more concessions
    from the city," but Kass & Pearson note Daley "keeps his hand
    strong by rejecting -- at least for now -- any alternatives" but
    renovation.  Daley called McDome "unbelievable" and questioned
    how the city would finance it.  Daley said "no one wants" the
    Bears to leave, but stressed the renovation was "the best deal
    they can have" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/28).

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bears, Facilities

         "Whether you're in the suites, at center court, or in the
    nosebleed seats, the Rose Garden has become a bit of a thorn in
    the side of many fans," writes Jeff Manning in the Portland
    OREGONIAN.  Manning notes while the arena itself is
    "spectacular," its initial season has been a "rough one," with
    seating problems, "endless" lines, bad food and inflated prices.
    Blazers VP/Business Affairs J. Isaac notes the problems are
    "inevitable" for a new arena like the Rose Garden.  Manning notes
    the Blazers will not let the problems "fester" as the team must
    keep seats filled to meet the debt payments on the $262M facility
    (OREGONIAN, 11/26).
         REPORT CARD:  In addition to Manning's report, the OREGONIAN
    had a "Rose Garden Report Card" which graded the spectacle, food,
    drink, and design of the Rose Garden.  For sound and spectacle,
    Marty Hughley gave concert sound an A-, game sound a B-, "bells
    and whistles" a B-, and overall atmosphere a B.  Karen Brooks
    graded the food.  The only item to get an A was the $5.75 curry
    chicken, while the $3 firedog got an F.  She notes that while the
    Rose Garden is the arena of the future, it "isn't up to the task
    of serving the food of the 50's."  Randy Gragg grades seating and
    signage as follows:  seating earns a B-, lighting a B-, bathrooms
    an A, navigational signage a B-, game signage a B+, and concourse
    signage an A (Portland OREGONIAN, 11/26).

    Print | Tags: Facilities

         The prospect of building a new arena in downtown San Diego
    is "dubious at best," according to Barry Bloom of the SAN DIEGO
    UNION-TRIBUNE.  Although the city has control of the project and
    can offer full control to a franchise owner willing to move an
    NBA or NHL team, the city does "not intend to dangle financial
    giveaways similar to the huge sums recently awarded" NFL teams.
    City Manager Jack McGrory said the city will not fully fund an
    estimated $154.8M arena without a "substantial investment from a
    team," adding "it is not realistic to expect a rent-free sports
    arena."  Without a team, the city would be on the hook for close
    to $7-8M a year to operate the building and service the debt.
    Gaining an expansion franchise is not likely as the NBA does not
    plan to expand until the turn of the century and the NHL will not
    move there "without approval" of the Mighty Ducks, who claim San
    Diego as part of their territory.  Therefore, arena plans have
    "been placed on the city's back burner" and questions remain on
    the city's ability to support pro sports.  McGrory:  "If the
    business community wants to help come up with the money, we'll do
    it.  But things like that don't happen in this town."  Mighty
    Ducks President Tony Tavares:  "You've got the failure of two
    basketball teams, the Padres' problem drawing people to baseball
    games.  Even the IHL moved out. ... Those things are going to
    impact whether anyone wants to go in there with an NBA or NHL
    team" (SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE, 11/27).

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Facilities, NBA, NFL, NHL, San Diego Padres, Walt Disney
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