SBD/20/Franchises

WITH NO DEAL YET IN CHICAGO, BEARS CONTINUE GARY TALKS

     The Bears held another round of talks with officials in
northwest Indiana Tuesday, moving closer to a "memorandum of
understanding" committing the team to move to Gary if a local
income tax increase is approved, according to the CHICAGO SUN-
TIMES.  Indiana stadium group spokesperson Colleen Dykes said an
agreement outlining terms under which the Bears would move could
be finalized in "two or three weeks."  Bears VP Ted Phillips said
it could take as long as a few months for "major contingencies"
to be addressed to the team's satisfaction.  Tuesday's
negotiations were the first since the Bears broke off talks with
the city of Chicago (Fran Spielman, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/20).
     BLITZ:  Proponents of a Bears stadium in Gary plan to launch
an advertising "blitz" this weekend, according to the GARY POST-
TRIBUNE.  Readers of Sunday's Post-Tribune and Munster Times will
see full-page ads touting the $482M stadium.  NIPSCO (the local
power company) customers will also get a similar ad in monthly
billing statements.  The print ads, which cost $4,500, will be
paid for by the Dewey Parriman Construction Advancement
Foundation, the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and
the Northwest Indiana Forum.  The Convention and Visitors Bureau
has earmarked $10,000 to market the stadium idea and is trying to
get its information to the public first.  NIPSCO has already
spent $400,000 on marketing, consultants' fees, environmental
tests, architectural renderings and feasibility studies.  NIPSCO
is counting on Northwest Indiana-Chicago Land Entertainment Inc.
repaying that money as residents are concerned utility rates will
go up with the stadium spending.  Dykes says the money comes from
NIPSCO's economic development budget, set up to lure business to
the region (Peter Van Allen, GARY POST-TRIBUNE, 12/19).
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