SBD/25/Facilities Venues

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          The Broward County Commission has voted to raise the
    county's tax on hotel bills from 3% to 5% in order to help pay
    for the Panthers' new arena, according to the Fort Lauderdale SUN
    SENTINEL.  The increase, scheduled to take effect July 1, means
    that tourists would contribute $8M yearly, or 55% of the cost
    toward building the $212M Sunrise, FL, facility.  Stan Smith,
    spokesperson for Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga:  "This was the
    last important step before moving into planning and
    construction."  The Broward Hotel and Motel Assoc. agreed to
    support the bed tax boost -- but on the condition hoteliers
    receive additional money for tourism promotion.  The Commission,
    which favored diverting a share of arena profits to tourism,
    "stopped short" of making a firm commitment (David Nitkin, Ft.
    Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 4/24).  Jack Neese calls Huizenga the
    "clear winner":  "[Huizenga] got almost everything he wanted.  He
    or the Panthers will own the company that manages the arena and
    profit from almost everything that happens there" (Ft. Lauderdale
    SUN-SENTINEL, 4/25).
         ALL ABOARD:  Huizenga was scheduled to tour the Molson
    Centre, Corel Centre and FleetCenter prior to last night's
    Panthers-Bruins playoff game.  Despite being "besieged" with
    offers from architectural and construction companies, Huizenga
    and county officials have yet to choose a firm to build the arena
    (Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 4/24).
          THE HEAT IS ON:  Even though election day is over six
    months away, Miami mayoral candidates "eager for headlines" are
    already "exploiting" plans for a new Heat waterfront arena,
    according to the MIAMI HERALD.  Metro Commissioner Alex Penelas
    intends to make his opposition to the facility a "cornerstone" of
    his race, while arena backers Arthur Teele, Xavier Suarez and
    Maurice Ferre are "making their own arena plays" (MIAMI HERALD,

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Facilities, Miami Heat

         Local and state politicians continued to put together "last
    minute plans tax plans to build a new stadium" for the Bucs,
    according to Henderson & Metz of the TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Two
    proposals being floated include a referendum on a half-cent
    Hillsborough County sales tax increase to pay for new schools,
    police buildings and the stadium, and a 4% increase in the
    county's hotel-motel tax (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/25).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

         The Diamondbacks announced a deal with Aqua Clear Industries
    to build a pool, hot tub, wet bar and barbecue area in the right
    field stands of their new Bank One Ballpark, according to Dale
    Hajek of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  The pool will be rented on a
    game-by-game basis similar to a party suite and will accommodate
    groups of 25 to 30 people. Scott Brubaker, D'Backs VP/Sales and
    Marketing, said Owner Jerry Colangelo was not sold on the idea at
    first, but slowly "liked the idea more and more" (ARIZONA
    REPUBLIC, 4/25).  The area will replace 240 bleacher seats, but
    Brubaker "expects the club to triple that lost revenue" with
    groups paying up to $3,500 for a single game.  USA TODAY's
    Michael Hiestand notes the club also has "valuable ad space on
    the outfield wall a foot in front of the raised pool and 405 feet
    from home plate" (USA TODAY, 4/25).

    Print | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Facilities

          Even though Paul Allen will not decide whether to buy the
    Seahawks from Ken Behring until the end of the football season,
    he will begin exploring options for an improved stadium -- either
    a renovated Kingdome or a new facility.  In Tacoma, Elaine
    Porterfield writes the Blazers' $262M Rose Garden that Allen
    constructed is considered a "model public-private partnership"
    since taxpayers contributed only $34.5M to the $155M Allen
    procured from private investors and the $46M he paid himself.
    But in Portland, Allen was able to entice investors with a track
    record of 812 sellouts, 70 pre-sold luxury suites and a schedule
    of over 200 events a year.  A football-only stadium would be less
    profitable, hosting at most 10 games a year.  Allen:  "It can be
    done, but it takes a lot of work."  Allen said if he were to
    build a new stadium, one of the three sites adjacent to the
    Kingdome being considered for the Mariners ballpark would be his
    first choice, with a suburban facility with more parking his
    second (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/25).
         SHOULDN'T BREAK THE BANK:  The city of Anaheim said the
    Seahawks owe about $150,000 for the cost of fixing up the
    training camp they were set to move into.  City attorney Jack
    White:  "We haven't even invoiced them yet, but we don't expect
    any problem in receiving the payment from them for the costs
    incurred" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/25).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures

         Phillies President Bill Giles said talks did occur between
    the team and Comcast regarding a new baseball stadium, but he
    said both sides agreed to "wait and see what the state will do."
    Giles admitted reports of the team exchanging cable rights for
    help with funding a new stadium were true, but said that giving
    up those rights would "not be a good idea."  Giles:  "That's what
    I call funny money.  If we had a new stadium, why would I want to
    take away the cable rights?"  Giles is waiting to see what a
    state committee of sports development experts will suggest in
    their report, expected in July.  Giles:  "It has to be the state.
    It doesn't have to be all state money, but the state has to come
    up with the majority.  The city has to put up some, the state has
    to put up some, and we have to put up some" (Ed Moran,

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Facilities, Philadelphia Phillies

         Atlanta officials are nearing an agreement on a deal to use
    rental car taxes to finance improvements near the proposed new
    arena for the Hawks (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/25)....Loudoun
    County, VA, will unveil a plan tonight for a "sprawling" sports
    and entertainment complex near Dulles Int'l Airport as the
    competition "intensifies" among four Northern VA counties vying
    to be home to a new ballpark.  Regions have until May 15 to
    submit bids to the VA Baseball Stadium Authority (WASHINGTON
    POST, 4/25)....Maneuvering of the city of New York and the
    Yankees over a new stadium on Manhattan's West Side is profiled
    in the current NEW YORK magazine.  Craig Horowitz writes Mayor
    Rudolph Giuliani's intent was to send a "clear pro-sports, pro-
    business message," but that was not a "strong opening position
    for negotiations" since the city seemed to be bidding "against
    itself."  Giuliani "hasn't played the game well thus far, thought
    he hasn't lost it.  Yet" (NEW YORK, 4/29 issue).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Facilities, New York Yankees
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