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Laurel Prieb, Brewers VP/Corporate Affairs, said yesterday the team does not need new investors and will be able to meet their financing commitment to a new stadium by the March 22 deadline, according to this morning's MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Local sources said "several potential investors" are ready to bring new capital to the team to secure loans needed for the $90M financial commitment to a new facility. But new investors would reportedly "demand major changes in the team's management structure." Prieb: "We didn't need them last summer [when the stadium deal was signed] ... And we don't need them now. If anything, our finances have improved." Sources said Brewers President Bud Selig "would be especially resistant" to the idea of new investors if they "were contingent on his stepping down as President." Spokespersons for Sidney and Allen Kohl, brothers of U.S. Sen./Bucks Owner Herb Kohl, said there is "no truth to the reports they are considering investing in the Brewers." Also, a meeting between the team and Miller Brewing apparently has been set up to discuss stadium naming rights (Amy Rinard, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 2/29).
Backers of the ballot initiatives to build a new Tiger Stadium in Detroit are raising $600,000 to use on TV, direct mail, radio, cable and print media ads in an effort to clarify the language of the measure. Robert Sherefkin reports in CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS that the two competing stadium proposals placed before voters March 19 will need examination by voters. While a yes vote on Proposal A opposes spending city money for a new stadium, a yes on Proposal B supports the stadium. Only Proposal A is binding. Donors to the effort include GM, Detroit Edison, and Comerica Bank (CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 2/26 issue).
Ascent Entertainment Group, which owns the Avalanche, has bought new dasher boards and glass it hopes to install before the playoffs (Colorado Springs GAZETTE TELEGRAPH, 2/28)....The White Sox "might step up" a proposed move to Tucson from Sarasota and share a facility with the Rockies next year. The "deal is pending" on whether the White Sox will become the third team in Tucson in '98 with the Rockies and D'backs (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 2/29)...Two efforts were rejected in the MD legislature to charge Art Modell interest on a 10-year, $24M state loan he's been given to help fund a new stadium (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/29)....IL Gov. Jim Edgar's plan to finance a $465M McDome in Chicago calls for an airport tax recently outlawed by the Federal Government. A Cook County judge will hear a suit challenging the tax, which would provide 11% of McDome funding (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/29)....Commenting on the Giants' drive for a new stadium, Glenn Dickey writes that "no teams have tried to privately finance stadiums because it's risky. Financiers question whether the Giants can do it, and baseball people question whether the team will have enough money left to go after quality players" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/29).
Walt Disney Co. is reportedly prepared to spend close to $70M to renovate Anaheim Stadium "if it can finalize a deal with the city of Anaheim to fund the remaining" $30M, according to Fisher & Himmelberg of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The Anaheim City Council meets today in a special session to discuss "and possibly vote" on the proposal -- the "final step" in Disney's purchase of a controlling share of the Angels. Derek Irwin, AL Financial Manager, said $70M would be the "most significant contribution by an American League baseball team owner toward a stadium project in the last five years" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 2/28).