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Richard Krezwick, former GM of the Worcester Centrum, was appointed President of New Boston Garden Corp., the Delaware North Cos. subsidiary that owns the FleetCenter, according to Maria Shao in the BOSTON GLOBE. Krezwick will assume duties on September 16, succeeding Larry Moulter, who joined Bob Woolf Associates in June. Richard Stephens, President of Delaware North, said Krezwick "has experience in all facets of building management. What he's shown is a promotional and marketing flair that really intrigued me." Pat Moscaritolo, President of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau: "The corporate people at Delaware North have said, 'We have our building now.' Now, they're going to have somebody more focused on sales and marketing and buildings." Krezwick acknowledged the marketing challenges ahead, considering the recent poor performance of the Celtics and Bruins and the "public griping" about high ticket and food prices. Krezwick: "The honeymoon is over." Krezwick added one of his big challenges will be keeping premium seat holders happy. Krezwick: "Suite sales drive the financing of a new facility" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/6).
The new $215M Hawks arena will be built on the site of the Omni Coliseum "unless something dramatic changes drastically," Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell's Chief of Staff, Steven Labovitz, told Unger & Saporta of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. A competing location -- the railroad gulch owned by Norfolk Southern across from the Omni -- is preferred by some civic leaders because of a "better" bridge between CNN Center and Underground Atlanta and the fact that events could continue at the Omni while the new arena was being built. Although the city and Turner Broadcasting System, which owns the Hawks, continue to negotiate with Norfolk Southern, they remain "several million dollars apart on a purchase price." If the Omni is chosen, the Hawks will have to play at the Georgia Dome and Georgia Tech for two seasons, while the current building is razed and replaced by the fall of '99. Recreation Authority Attorney Caryl Smith warned if legislation offered by U.S. Sen. Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) regarding the tax exempt status of bonds used on stadium and arena is passed, it would remove the tax exemption for $55-60M in bonds to be used for public improvements around the new Omni. Turner Exec Brad Ferrer: "I'm not sure about the project if the public improvement bonds are taxable." Campbell's Chief-of-Staff Labovitz said that the arena itself would be financed by a second bond issue, which is taxable, amounting to $140-150M (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/6).
A "key" L.A. City Council committee voted unanimously to "move quickly toward forging a deal with developers on a new $270M downtown sports arena, according to Rick Orlov of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Although raising "concerns" about up to $70M in costs to the city, the Ad Hoc Committee on an L.A. Sports Arena voted 5-0 Thursday recommending that a memo of understanding on a $240M downtown arena be drafted with prospective developers, L.A. Kings Owners Ed Roski Jr. and Philip Anschutz. Council President John Ferraro: "This could lead to the revitalization of downtown. But we have to make sure the city's interests are protected." The proposal will now go to the entire council as early as Wednesday, as the city continues to pursue Anschutz and Roski to develop a 20,000-seat arena next to the Convention Center, to house the Kings and Lakers. Under the proposal, the North Hall of the Convention Center would be demolished, then rented to the developers for $1 a year for 55 years. The committee also recommended that a memo be signed by October 15, so that they meet Roski and Anschutz's timeline of construction starting next year and opening by September 1999. Inglewood has made a $30M cash offer to Roski and Anschutz for them to keep the team in a new arena at the Hollywood Park racetrack. John Semcken, spokesperson for Roski's Majestic Realty, said, "Right now, we're talking to two people, Inglewood and Los Angeles, but that can't go on for long." (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/6).
A USA TODAY special section called "The Stadium Binge" appeared in today's editions. The piece studied each facility in all major cities in U.S. and Canada, including lease and luxury seat details (USA TODAY, 9/6)....In Phoenix, a group of business and community leaders, East Valley Partnership, unveiled their study for domed multipurpose facility for the Cardinals, as a way to create a new tourist image for the East Valley. Team Owner Bill Bidwill said of the idea that "it's a very logical approach." But David Cannella writes, "There's no firm plan for where the project would go, how much it would cost or how it would be paid for" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/6).