SBD/11/Facilities Venues

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         The Broward County Commission unanimously agreed Tuesday to
    buy 135 acres near the Sawgrass Mills mall in Sunrise to build an
    arena for the Panthers, according to Meg James in the MIAMI
    HERALD.  Lennar Florida Land will sell the land for "almost"
    $12.6M.  Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-November for
    an October '98 opening.  County Commissioner Scott Cowan said
    that the county now plans to begin selling "as much as" $185M in
    bonds today in New York to finance the project.  The Panthers,
    under the agreement reached Tuesday, will follow an existing site
    plan that calls for 7,500 parking spaces and "as much as" 75,000
    feet of free-standing retail space (MIAMI HERALD, 9/11).

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         Penguins Owner Howard Baldwin "predicted" that he would
    reach a "comprehensive plan" with the city and county
    commissioners on all Civic Arena-related issues, including
    whether a new downtown facility should be built, according to
    Steve Halvonik in the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.  Halvonik writes
    Baldwin's "optimistic assessment" came "only days" after the
    Penguins "refused to make an $800,000 bond payment for previous
    renovations at the arena."  The bond issue "may now become a
    bargaining chip in negotiations."  Baldwin said, "No one was
    harmed because we did not make this payment," while adding that
    "bondholders were paid by escrow funds."  The Civic Arena is
    owned by the Public Auditorium Authority of Pittsburgh, a
    partnership of the city and county, and it must pay off the bonds
    if the Penguins default.  Baldwin has formed Igloo Development
    Corp. to explore ways to renovate and improve the arena and
    examine the possibility of building a new, state-of-the-art
    facility downtown.  It will also explore retail development of
    the land surrounding the Civic Arena.  The team soon will present
    estimates of how much changes to the Civic Arena would cost and
    how much they would be willing to contribute.  Baldwin wants the
    city and county to take over the $1.2M in annual bond repayments
    the team is making to finance $10M in renovations from two years
    ago.  He also seeks reimbursement of the $1.6M in payments that
    the team has already made.  Baldwin named Chuck Greenberg, a
    Pittsburgh attorney, to head Igloo Development (PITTSBURGH POST-
    GAZETTE, 9/10).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Pittsburgh Penguins

         Pro Player unveiled a new logo and a name change of the
    Dolphins and Marlins home to Pro Player Stadium.  In explaining
    the change from Pro Player Park, Pro Player President Doug Kelly
    said, "In the creative process of designing logos, we felt Pro
    Player Stadium best represented the facility"  (Pro Player).
    Stadium President Bob Kramm  said signs with the new name will be
    visible to viewers on NBC's Sunday telecast (Barry Jackson, MIAMI
    HERALD, 9/11).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Miami Marlins, Miami Dolphins, NBC

         Minneapolis officials have identified five downtown sites
    where a retractable-domed stadium, which would cost "at least"
    $300M, could be located, according to Jay Weiner in the
    Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE.  "Minnesota Wins," a local pro sports
    advocacy group backed by $1.25M in cash from 17 corporations,
    including "an undisclosed amount" from Cowles Media Co. which
    owns the Star Tribune, will begin conducting focus group sessions
    to "take citizens' stadium-related pulse."  St. Paul Mayor Norm
    Coleman has "floated his desire" to get the Twins to move there
    and due to an escape clause in their lease, the Twins can leave
    the area after the '98 season.  Twins Owner Carl Pohlad has
    stated that he doesn't want to sell or move the team.  If the
    Twins leave the Metrodome, the Vikings will eye a renovation of
    the facility with more football seats that are closer to the
    field (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 9/11).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings

         A ban on smoking in McNichols Sports Arena takes effect this
    Sunday.  Smokers will now be forced to two areas outside the
    arena (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,9/10)....In L.A., city officials are
    reportedly uniting in support of renovations for the Coliseum,
    which could cost between $150M and $200M to be home to an NFL
    team.  Although no specifics were announced, an administrator for
    the city said that the NFL has expressed an interest in hearing
    the renovation plans.  NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello said
    the league would "prefer a new, state-of-the-art facility."  But
    he indicated that the NFL is "willing to listen to any plan,
    including one for the Coliseum"  (LOS ANGLES BUSINESS JOURNAL,
    9/2).....In a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll of 404 likely voters,
    conducted September 4-5 by KRC/Communications Research, 44% said
    a new stadium for the Patriots should be paid for with no public
    money, 31% favored a mix of public and private funds, and 8% said
    taxpayers should "pick up the whole tab" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots, NFL
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