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PART OF PEPSI CENTER TAB TO BE PICKED UP BY PUBLIC?
Published June 3, 1996
Despite previous plans to privately finance construction of the new Pepsi Center, Ascent Entertainment Group, owner of the Avalanche and Nuggets, may now ask taxpayers to pay part of the $150M price tag through tax increment financing, according to Kevin Flynn of the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS. Ascent is expected to propose the public subsidy when negotiations reopen with Denver Mayor Wellington Webb. Under a tentative agreement reached last year, the city's 10% ticket tax and sales taxes in excess of $2M generated at the Pepsi Center were to be used to defray operating costs and future capital improvements. The tax increment financing would permit revenues to be designated for debt service instead. Ascent spokesperson Paul Jacobsen maintains the company (unlike the Rockies and Broncos) will not seek a special tax. Ascent asked to reopen negotiations several weeks ago, saying increased costs have made the previous deal "unworkable" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/2). BUILDING OWNERSHIP: Flynn also reports Ascent is seeking to retain ownership of the Pepsi Center, after originally agreeing to deed the facility to the city for $1 upon completion. Ascent says it must maintain ownership in order to secure private financing -- because without clear title, the company would be unable to use the building as collateral (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/2).