SBD/5/Facilities Venues


     Redskins Owner Jack Kent Cooke joined officials from the
state and county to formally announce a deal to build a new
78,600-seat stadium for the Redskins in Prince George's County,
MD.  The state-of-the-art facility, to be funded by $180M from
Cooke, is scheduled to open for the '97 season.
     DETAILS:  As negotiations wore on, Prince George's County
Exec Wayne Curry "pressured Cooke to agree to a laundry list of
concessions," including a $3M contribution for a community rec
center adjacent to the stadium, $1.5M for scholarships and other
educational programs, work-study jobs for an area college,
guaranteed 25-30% minority participation in construction,
concession and other contracts, and that at least 2,000 county
residents would get "preferential treatment" for season-tickets.
Cooke will purchase the 200 acres for $4.1M; the Redskins will
play all home games for "not less than 30 years after the stadium
is occupied;" the state will pay up to $73M for road, parking lot
construction and other infrastructure (Neal & Pierre, WASHINGTON
POST, 12/5).  The stadium will reportedly generate up to $8.5M in
annual taxes for the county and $3-5M for the state.  The
facility will hold 331 luxury boxes, and close to 15,000 club
seats (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/5).
     ENOUGH ALREADY?  In Baltimore, Jon Morgan notes with DC's
new MCI Center, Camden Yards, a Browns facility and a new
Redskins stadium, the Baltimore-Washington area would have "a
staggering" 30,625 club seats and 573 luxury boxes   -- "almost
certainly be the nation's highest concentration of pricey seats."
With a population of 6.7 million, the area teams are going to
have to sell one club seat for every 219 people and a sky box for
every 11,693.  The "wild card" will be lobbying and law firms, "a
largely untested market with vast potential" (Baltimore SUN,
12/5).  SI's Peter King questioned whether the area can handle
the luxury and club seats.  Cooke: "I'm quite positive that we
are going to succeed to exactly the extent that all our
projections indicate we will succeed" ("MNF," ABC, 12/4).
     WHAT THEY SAID:  Cooke, who has been in search of a new
facility for seven years:  "I've been forced to practice patience
that would have put Job to shame."  DC officials said they were
not surprised with the move, and are counting on the new MCI
Center make up for the lost economic boost (WASHINGTON POST,
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