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The political prospects of a new stadium for the Patriots is examined this morning by Joan Vennochi of the BOSTON GLOBE. With Gov. William Weld, whose administration reportedly promised Kraft a new stadium, now facing a run for the Senate, it is "unlikely that pumping a stadium for Kraft is high on his list." Kraft's prospects in the Legislature are "just as murky." But Vennochi writes, "even ardent stadium supporters" admit more money is needed. One possible new player is Bank of Boston, which loaned Kraft the money to buy the team. Bank of Boston officials "have talked quietly ... about coming forward as a major sponsor, much like Fleet Financial did by paying for the naming rights to FleetCenter." The deal could "stoke the bank's goodwill in the community to counter rival Fleet. A stronger revenue from a downtown stadium also makes Kraft's loan more secure" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/1). Kraft said on Wednesday that he was "embarrassed" by disclosures of the Patriots' financial losses and that his need for a downtown stadium to turn a profit is "his problem alone." Kraft said he did not want to have to move the team, but added, "I don't want to be part of a team that I can't see being competitive" (David Halbfinger, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/30).
In light of the recent deals being offered by other cities, the $60M package signed between San Diego and the Chargers that will keep the team in the city until 2020 "could be classified as a steal" for the city, according to Kevin Kernan of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Although the Chargers "will not get any money up front," there has been some criticism of the deal that will modernize Jack Murphy Stadium and expand capacity from 61,000 to 71,000. Chargers President Dean Spanos said the criticism "hurts," as he notes the team "negotiated in good faith and never once said 'Look what so-and-so is getting.'" Spanos: "If we were looking to make as much money as we could, we never would have signed the lease. We'd be gone." But Stadium GM Bill Wilson says, "Looking at all the other deals that have been offered and accepted around the country, we're looking real good right now" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/30).
A design team from HKS Inc. of Dallas was chosen to design the new stadium for the Brewers. HKS was selected over HOK Sports Facilities of K.C. Gabe Paul, Brewers VP/Stadium Operations, said the design will begin "taking shape in a month or two" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/1)....Without NHL hockey, Hamilton Ontario's Copps Coliseum costs taxpayers close to $400,000 a year. That has left "some feeling the facility is a failure" (HAMILTON SPECTATOR, 12/1)....Suite sales in Nashville for the Oilers will go on sale Monday, with an annual price tag of $50,000-125,000. Once a suite is sold, an owner must sign a five-, seven-, or ten-year lease (NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN, 12/1).
Organizers kicked off the 60-day countdown to Super Bowl XXX, and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the state of AZ may "might be in the running" for other Super Bowls." Tagliabue: "The working assumption should be that when you've done this once, it should be done again and again." But Tagliabue declined to comment on speculation Cardinals Owners Bill Bidwill "might be looking to relocate" due to lack of a new facility. He did say the NFL's future lies in new, state-of-the-art facilities. Also, the name for the marketing venture preceding Super Bowl XXX was unveiled, called "Arizona XXXtravaganza" (AP/TORONTO STAR, 12/1).