SBD/8/Facilities Venues

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         The "building binge" of sports facilities was examined by
    ABC's John Martin on last night's "World News Tonight." Martin
    examined how tax-free bonds paying for stadiums end up costing
    taxpayers millions of dollars.  U.S. Sen. Pat Moynihan (D-NY):
    "The Treasury loses $50 million a year and rising, because these
    are tax exempt bonds even though they are used for a private
    commercial purpose."  Martin cites projects and the "lost taxes
    over life of the bonds," including the Georgia Dome, where the
    U.S. treasury lost $141M in taxes the life of the bond; the
    Ravens new stadium, $40M; Gator Bowl, $39M.  Frank Shafroth of
    the Nat'l League of Cities said, "In some cases a stadium appears
    to do more to ... make a city a live, vibrant place, than
    subsidizing a steel factory or a prison or something else."
    Moynihan: "If you build a stadium, you don't build a school.
    Indeed, you don't build 50 schools."  With nearly 40 public
    sports facilities planned in the coming decade the loss to the
    U.S. Treasury over 30 years could hit $1B (ABC, 10/7).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Baltimore Ravens, Facilities, Walt Disney

         Ford Motor Co. "is expected" to announce Thursday that it
    will buy the rights to name a new $225M domed stadium in downtown
    Detroit, according to Jon Pepper of the DETROIT NEWS.  Citing
    sources to the DETROIT NEWS, Pepper writes rights would cost Ford
    between $30M and $40M and the company, as it has "yet to settle"
    on a name for the planned stadium, would ask one of its ad
    agencies to develop a name and marketing plan "to maximize
    exposure."  Pepper notes one possibility is to paint the
    trademark blue Ford oval logo on the stadium's roof.  The deal,
    which needs the approval of Ford's board of directors, would put
    the Lions "more than halfway" toward their goal of raising $50M
    from private sources for the stadium by November 1.  The team
    also received "informal commitments" Monday from key Detroit
    business leaders to help raise the remaining money. If Ford
    approves the naming rights deal, it would remove a "significant
    hurdle" for the plan to build side-by-side stadiums for the Lions
    and Tigers.  The Lions and Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer had
    solicited each of the Big Three automakers to contribute money to
    the stadium, but Pepper reports Chrysler "rejected that bid, and
    GM was prepared to do so." Sources say GM "did not want to be
    viewed as aiding" the Lions' departure from Pontiac, where the
    company recently expanded its truck and bus operations.
    Nevertheless, the other auto companies "may still play a role" in
    the dome's financing (DETROIT NEWS, 10/8).

    Print | Tags: Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, Facilities, General Motors

         Dade County, FL officials confirmed yesterday that Calvin
    Grigsby is getting back into the municipal-bond business, and
    wants to continue as an underwriter on Dade County financing,
    including the proposed $130M deal to build a new arena for the
    Heat, according to Charles Gasparino of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.
    Grigsby recently resigned as CEO of Grigsby Branford & Co., which
    is being investigated in an ongoing federal grand jury probe into
    municipal bond dealings in Miami.  Grigsby's new firm is called
    Grigsby & Associates, and Dade officials say Grigsby informed
    them he will maintain offices in NY, Miami, LA, San Francisco,
    Sacramento and San Diego. (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/8). The probe
    of Grigsby Branford's dealings with Dade County is profiled by
    DeGeorge, et. al in BUSINESS WEEK.  Grigsby Branford's "travails
    reflect grim times for minority-owned municipal-bond firms. Amid
    severe industry competition, several have suffered from notoriety
    surrounding government investigations" (BUSINESS WEEK, 10/14).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Miami Heat

         In Cleveland, a breakfast presentation for a few hundred
    business executives today "will kick off" loge sales for the
    proposed 72,000-seat lakefront stadium.  Club seat sales will
    start in about a month.  By January 31, the city must have lease
    agreements for loges and club seats worth $9.4M a year, with at
    least $3M from club seats. The average leases must be eight years
    for loges and seven years for club seats (Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER
    10/6)...In Boston, Kevin Paul DuPont notes "word around" Boston
    is that two parties are "seriously interested" in knocking down
    the Garden and developing the site into retail, office and
    apartment space. Another "rumor" has Delaware North
    "contemplating" shifting its headquarters to Boston (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 10/6)....Tigers and Little Ceasars Enterprises Inc. owner
    Michael Ilitch said he remains "committed" to raising his $145M
    share of private financing for a new, $240M ballpark and that
    financing would be "of a traditional nature". Ilitch said there
    are "no plans" to pledge the assets of Little Ceasars as
    collateral on a loan (CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 9/30).

    Print | Tags: Detroit Tigers, Facilities

         The first TV ad aired Monday in support of a proposal to
    spend more than $450M for a new Astros stadium and Astrodome
    renovations, according to Armando Villafranca of the HOUSTON
    CHRONICLE.  The 30-second spot for Proposition One on the
    November 5 ballot tells viewers that "costs will fall on team
    owners, private business, fans and tax on car rentals."  Houston
    Mayor Bob Lanier, who is shown seated behind his desk, says, "No
    property tax, no general sales tax, teams must sign 30-year
    leases. I think it's a good play." Villafranca writes Harris
    County Citizens for Proposition One has spent $150,000 to air the
    ads through mid-October, and the group's "goal" is to raise
    $750,000 and to air "several more" TV spots, including a Spanish-
    language version.  Villafranca notes one spot "being considered"
    will show new stadiums built in other cities with voter support.
    In addition, former Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan is being considered
    for an ad (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/7).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Houston Astros
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