SBD/29/Facilities Venues

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              In Atlanta, local government bodies "must vote all over
         again" on the city's proposed $213M downtown sports arena
         "because a key element of the financing has changed,"
         according to Saporta & Unger of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. 
         If the Atlanta City Council, Fulton County Commission or the
         Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority votes it down,
         the entire "project would be in jeopardy."  The change in
         the plan "affects what had been an important taxpayer
         safeguard," as the team had pledged all of its revenues to
         repay arena construction bonds if the facility's income
         wasn't enough to cover them, which "virtually guaranteed
         taxpayers wouldn't have to pay for any shortfall."  But the
         NBA now says Hawks players "would have to be paid first." 
         With the salary cap at "about" $25M, that much less revenue
         would be available back to the arena bonds.  Fulton County
         Commission Chair Mitch Skandalakis: "It seems odd that you
         would go into this thing not knowing what the NBA's position
         would be.  I'm not happy at all.  I think (the new arena
         proposal) stands little chance of passage from my board." 
         But Michael Coleman, counsel representing the Hawks, said
         they "have presented to the city and county staff a proposal
         that we think offers even better protection to the
         taxpayers" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/29).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Facilities, NBA

              The proposal to build a new stadium for the Seahawks
         "officially became Referendum Bill 48," as the ballot
         question for the June 17 election was posted and a new poll
         "suggested the measure would be defeated," according to Ed
         Penhale of the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  The ballot
         reads: "Shall a public stadium authority be authorized to
         build and operate a professional football stadium and
         exhibition hall financed by tax revenues and private
         contributions?"  Chris Van Dyk, of the stadium opposition
         group Citizens for More Important Things, said as long as
         the ballot has "the word 'tax' in it, people will know what
         they are voting on."  Football Northwest campaign consultant
         Bob Gogerty "was uncomfortable with the way the ballot title
         refers to 'taxes,' but voiced no other complaint." 
         Meanwhile, the April edition of the independent Elway Poll
         released Monday showed 51% of voters statewide "are inclined
         to say no" towards a new stadium, with 43% "inclined to vote
         for it."  The Elway Poll surveyed 405 voters with a margin
         of error of +/- 5% (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 4/29).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures

              A protest "against tax breaks for the wealthy erupted
         suddenly" in the FL House on Monday as lawmakers denied
         Wayne Huizenga a "second helping of public money" to
         renovate Pro Player Stadium, according to Steve Bousquet of
         the MIAMI HERALD.  The 61-50 vote was a "rare, dramatic
         defeat for one of the most politically connected
         Floridians," and "ended Huizenga's hopes" of receiving $2M a
         year toward stadium improvements for 30 years.  House
         Majority Leader Jim King, a Huizenga backer, on the feeling
         of "momentum turning" against Huizenga: "I told him the
         debate was not going to be pretty.  No matter how you cut
         it, a lot of members perceive this as giving millions to a
         billionaire" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/29).  In St. Petersburg, Rado
         & Walsten writes that Huizenga's chief lobbyist, Ron Book
         "was crestfallen."  Stan Smith, a Huizenga spokesperson,
         said that Huizenga will now consider how to pay for the
         stadium improvements (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/29).

    Print | Tags: Facilities
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