SBD/19/Facilities Venues

HONEYMOON IN VEGAS: A'S TO HIT STRIP BEFORE HEADING HOME?

     The American League supports the decision of the A's not to
play their opening games at the Oakland Coliseum.  The league
reports "alternative arrangements" will be determined as early as
possible (AL).  Las Vegas remains the likely choice, according to
Bay Area reports today.  The $100M stadium renovation -- as part
of the Raiders' return to Oakland -- included assurances the A's
season would not be interrupted.  But team and league officials
who toured the site "deemed the Coliseum not sufficiently
complete," according to A's GM Sandy Alderson.  The decision
"shocked" city, county and stadium officials, "all of whom have a
significant financial stake in assuring that the deal runs
smoothly" (Fimrite & Ketterman, S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/19).  Coliseum
construction manager Don Webb said the project remains on
schedule and that the A's have known it would be a "work in
progress" throughout the summer.  Coliseum CEO Bob Quintella:
"It is misleading to suggest now that the decision to go
elsewhere was based on the renovation being incomplete,
unacceptable or unsafe."  A's Exec VP Ed Alvarez:  "We expected
them to be ahead of schedule from where they are now."  A key
complaint was 1,000 fewer parking spaces (Robert Salladay,
OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 3/19).
     BATTLE OF THE BAY:  Columnist Glenn Dickey explains the
simple reason why the A's won't use the Giants' 3Com Park for
their early games:  "Because the top people in the two
organizations hate each other" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/19).
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