SBD/27/Facilities Venues

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         Hillsborough Circuit Court Judge James Whittemore ruled a
    lawsuit by former Tampa Mayor William Poe Sr. to block a half-
    cent tax from going on the September 3 ballot was "without
    merit," according to Joe Henderson of the TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Voters
    will vote on the half-cent sales tax increase, designed to help
    fund a new Bucs stadium (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 8/27).  The Yankees, who
    use land adjacent to Houlihan's Stadium for parking at Legends
    Field during spring games, have objected to some of that land
    being promised to Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer for commercial
    development if a new facility is built.  The question of who
    controls the land is becoming "increasingly contentious," and
    could be a "roadblock" to finishing a lease on the stadium (TAMPA
    TRIBUNE, 8/27).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

         Harris County Judge Robert Eckels says there is a "strong
    likelihood" commissioners will call for an Astros stadium
    referendum by September 3, the last day possible for having
    ballot language ready for the November 5 election, according to
    John Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Such a move is designed
    to "pressure" Astros Owner Drayton McLane to remain in Houston
    and speed up "stalled" talks over a $250M, 42,000-seat,
    retractable-roofed ballpark.  In the past Eckels had said a
    referendum would not be conducted unless McLane supported the
    stadium financing plans.  Eckels noted that a November referendum
    provides Harris County with several strategies: more time to
    negotiate with McLane and develop details of a new facility;
    placing pressure on MLB to prevent McLane from relocating if he
    opposes a final plan.  Eckels:  "The referendum is not really
    about Drayton.  It's about whether or not the voters want to
    build a stadium."  Astros Senior VP Bob McClaren said the club
    has "no problem" with a referendum (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/27).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Houston Astros, MLB

         The Panthers proposed new home in Sunrise, FL is "shaping up
    to be a fan-friendly arena unlike any in North America,"
    according to Larry Lebowitz in the Ft. Lauderdale SUN SENTINEL.
    Among features planned: outdoor food courts with views of the
    Everglades; wiring of seats for future technological advances,
    such as individual TVs and computers; a "record number" of
    restrooms and seats that will put fans closer to the ice.  The
    "biggest hurdles" remaining are highway access, parking spaces
    and budget concerns (Ft. Lauderdale SUN SENTINEL, 8/26).
         BANK ONE: When the Diamondbacks begin play in Bank One
    Ballpark in '98, they will be attending not only a stadium, but
    "part museum and part high-tech showplace," according to Ken
    Weston of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  Among the attractions at the
    complex "being dubbed Fox Sports Diamondtown," will be baseball
    memorabilia, 10 "huge" video walls and as many as 150 TV
    monitors.  Interactive kiosks will be set up, enabling fans to
    tap into nostalgia video and the Internet.  D'Back officials are
    predicting "as many as 500,000 people will pass through the
    stadium just on tours."  Ten of the D'Backs largest corporate
    sponsors, including America West, Bank One, Checker Auto, Circle
    K and Miller Brewing, will sponsor a zone in Diamondtown (ARIZONA
    REPUBLIC, 8/27).

    Print | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Facilities

         In the wake of the Lions proposed move back to downtown
    Detroit, State Rep. Deborah Whyman plans to introduce a bill when
    the MI Legislature reconvenes September 12 that would require the
    Lions to reimburse the state about $13.9M in taxpayer-funded
    subsidies paid out over 19 years to help fund the Silverdome,
    according to Craig Garrett of the DETROIT NEWS.  Lions officials
    responded to Whyman's plans by saying the Silverdome has
    generated positive benefits for the state, adding in statement,
    "The Silverdome ... has generated more than $200 million in
    revenues since it opened [in '75].  The $13.9 million state
    subsidy, which ended in 1992, went directly to the city of
    Pontiac, with none of the subsidy going to the Detroit Lions"
    (DETROIT NEWS, 8/27).  The DETROIT NEWS' Brian Harmon reports the
    Pontiac Stadium Building Authority still owes $28M on municipal
    bonds that helped pay for the Silverdome and that Oakland County
    taxpayers can expect to pay at least $7M of that tab (DETROIT
    NEWS, 8/27).  A DETROIT NEWS chart indicates Pontiac taxpayers
    "paid most of the costs" of the Silverdome as of '95 --
    approximately $49,673,638 (DETROIT NEWS, 8/27).   SAVE THE
    SILVERDOME:  Ron French of the DETROIT NEWS eyes "ways to keep
    the Silverdome from being bulldozed."  Ideas include turning the
    facility into an industrial park, an amusement park, an upscale
    mall, an "ultimate Metro Detroit night spot," or a casino
    (DETROIT NEWS, 8/27). .

    Print | Tags: Detroit Lions, Facilities, General Motors

         Sharks Owner George Gund announced the club will pick up the
    cost for a $7M building improvement project at San Jose Arena
    designed to create an "owner entertainment suite" and install
    short glass walls outside executive suites to ensure that suite
    users do not knock drinks onto people in the suites below (SAN
    JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/27)....Cleveland Stadium will host "The
    Final Play" September 21 where Browns fans can tour locker rooms
    and walk on the field. Demolition of the stadium is scheduled to
    begin in November (USA TODAY, 8/27)....Michigan Int'l Speedway
    drew a season-record attendance of 616,510 in '96, including the
    U.S. 500 (Penske Motorsports)....Bethesda, MD-based Clark
    Construction Group Inc., which has won such projects as D.C's MCI
    Center, the Brewers' Miller Park and the Redskins' new stadium,
    is featured in the WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL.  The company is
    one of the nation's largest contractors with nearly $1.5B in '95
    projected value and formed a division called Clark Sports

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Facilities, Milwaukee Brewers, San Jose Sharks, Washington Redskins

         Fruit of the Loom's Pro Player sports and licensing division
    officially announced a ten-year, $20M deal with Dolphins, Marlins
    & Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga to rename Joe Robbie Stadium as
    Pro Player Park.  The deal allows Pro Player entitlement rights
    and signage throughout the stadium (Pro Player). JRS President
    Bob Kramm confirmed that the additional revenue might lead to the
    addition of a retail and entertainment center at the stadium,
    according to the MIAMI HERALD.  Kramm: "This announcement pushed
    that possibility further ahead, but we have to study it more."
    The name change takes place immediately, and workers yesterday
    began replacing the more than 100 references to "Joe Robbie
    Stadium," while the "most prominent" sign on the stadium's
    outside wall will not be finished in time for the Dolphin's home-
    opener Sunday.  Pro Player officials say they are working on a
    new logo, and are hoping to unveil it for the Dolphins' September
    15 game.  The only sign with Joe Robbie's name that will remain
    is on the Dolphins Honor Roll, but JRS officials "might come up"
    with a way to recognize the Dolphins' founder (MIAMI HERALD,
         BE A PLAYER:  The deal does not call for exclusive
    merchandise rights at the stadium and Pro Player will pursue TV
    or print ads with several players on Huizenga's three teams.  Pro
    Player will also advertise on SportsChannel Florida, managed by
    Huizenga's Front Row Communications.  Pro Player will also
    purchase ads inside Miami Arena.  JRS' Kramm said American
    Airlines, which had been considered for naming rights, is a
    candidate for other sponsor deals at the stadium.  Huizenga is
    considering selling naming rights to the Panthers' new arena, but
    it is "unlikely" Pro Player will bid (MIAMI HERALD, 8/27).
         THE WORD: Pro Player President & COO Doug Kelly told THE
    DAILY the company signed the deal in order to "build the Pro
    Player brand."  He added the deal allows the company to be
    exposed to potential customers on a continual basis not only
    through Dolphins and Marlins games, but also the FedEx Orange
    Bowl, the Carquest Bowl, and possibly the Super Bowl.  Kelly also
    said the entitlement has no effect on Pro Player's desire to be
    an NFL sideline licensee (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, FedEx, Miami Marlins, Miami Dolphins, NFL
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