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GIANTS STADIUM PROPOSAL GAINS POLITICAL MOMENTUM

     Mindful of four previous electoral losses to approve
financing for a new ballpark, the S.F. Giants have lined up
political support before going public with the plans for a
privately financed China Basin ballpark, according to the S.F.
EXAMINER.  reports the Giants are confident the stadium
referendum will make it on the March 16 ballot.  Seven members of
the Board of Supervisors, led by president Kevin Shelley, have
thrown their support behind the Giants' plan.  Jack Davis, who
chaired Mayor-elect Willie Brown's campaign and was a major
opponent of previous stadium plans, joins state Sen. Quentin
Kopp, a past Giants critic, and other community leaders in
backing the proposal.  If approved by at least four Board
members, the proposed ballpark would then go before voters as it
requires a change in zoning. Additionally, the city's waterfront
plan requires voters to approve any stadium in the China Basin
area.  Shelley:  "The City's not opposed to making the property
available.  And if the property is provided by the City, and the
money (is provided) by public financing, I think the public will
support it" (Gordon & Brazil, S.F. EXAMINER, 12/20).
     BREAKING NEW GROUND:  The new stadium would be the first
privately financed baseball park since Dodger Stadium opened in
1962, according to Glenn Dickey of the S.F.  CHRONICLE.  Giants
VP Larry Baer:  "Frankly, we think this may be the start of a
trend, because teams are running out of cities that are willing
to finance stadiums.  Other teams are probably going to hate us
for this."  The design by K.C.-based HOK Assoc. includes modern
conveniences with feature reminiscent of old parks:  an
asymmetric outfield with a Fenway Park-like wall 309 feet down
the leftfield line; a walkway between the park and the basin so
fans will be able to see home runs land in the water; and the
shortest foul ground in the majors at 42-43 feet from home plate
(Glenn Dickey, S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/21).
     IT'S OFFICIAL:  A press conference is scheduled for 5PM EST
today to announce the team's plans (Giants).
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