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Turner Broadcasting System officials are looking at alternative sites, including land around Centennial Olympic Park, for a new Hawks arena should negotiations with Norfolk Southern Railroad break down, according to Maria Saporta of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Turner's focus has been on acquiring a nearby gulch property to build a new arena so that the team can continue to play in the Omni during construction. But Turner and the city are "being forced to look at other options because they are as much as" $15M apart in their negotiations with the Norfolk Southern. The Centennial Park site is not as close to MARTA stations as the gulch site and would not have enough space for an arena and 2,000 parking spaces (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/14).
While talk of a new West Side Yankee Stadium has dominated attention recently, the Mets are "quietly" completing plans for a $457M, 40,000-seat facility designed to "evoke historic Ebbets Field," according to Charles Bagli of the N.Y. OBSERVER. The proposed ballpark would be built on a city-owned parking lot within 100 feet of Shea Stadium, which would be torn down. It would include a "state-of-the-art" retractable roof, an "ocean" of parking, and be designed to allow passers-by a "visual link" to the field through a low right field wall opening onto a pedestrian concourse along the street. Consultants planning the stadium include architect Jack Gordon, who devised the $35M renovation of Shea Stadium in '88, and K.C.-based firm HOK. A joint city-Mets study on the ballpark's viability will be completed in July (N.Y. OBSERVER, 6/17). RACE FOR CASH: Thus far, in "sharp contrast" to the possible Yankees' move, the Mets' stadium plans have been "embraced" by local political leaders -- who note the park would cost less than half of what the Yankees are asking. Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, on Mets President Fred Wilpon: "We're happy to have him. He is a straightforward, low-key gentleman. He doesn't have the theatrics and personality of [Yankees Owner George] Steinbrenner, which invites all kinds of negative feelings." But Bagli notes that both Wilpon and Steinbrenner are "inextricably linked" to each other in what may be a "zero-sum game" to obtain taxpayer dollars -- because at a combined cost of $1.5B, the city cannot afford two new stadiums. Bagli: "The first one to get any funding may get it all" (N.Y. OBSERVER, 6/17).
The American Institute of Architects is reviving a 1990 plan that would create "a large, park-like setting" for the new Ravens stadium, which has been criticized by many as "run-of-the-mill," according to Marcia Myers of the Baltimore SUN. The design is described as a "coastal park" and aims to create an environment "smoothly connecting" the stadium to an urban neighborhood. Ravens spokesperson Kevin Byrne said the team "would welcome any suggestions that would help the area" but is concerned about building "in a timely fashion" (Baltimore SUN, 6/14).
Only five of 13 stadium board members were on record Thursday as favoring a new financing plan for a new Brewers stadium. The plan needs eight votes to pass (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL- SENTINEL, 6/14)....S.F. Giants officials are formulating a plan that would allow 5,000 cars to be parked in a development south of the China Basin channel but admitted parking during weekday games, when downtown businesses are functioning, would be tight at their proposed new facility (S.F. EXAMINER, 6/13)....The VA Stadium Authority has discouraged all counties outside Northern VA from applying to build a new stadium. This was in response to a bid from officials in Prince George County, VA, south of Richmond (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/14)....BOSTON GLOBE business writer Joan Vennochi notes people in Boston who are "angling for a chance to represent" the Red Sox in their bid for a new ballpark. Despite hearing from Mayor Tom Menino and his top aids who believe the Sox need to get help from a development team, Red Sox President John Harrington "is more likely to do it himself" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/14).