SBD/18/Facilities Venues

ARE PATRIOTS GETTING COLD FEET OVER RI DEAL DEADLINE?

          A "planned negotiating session" between RI Gov. Lincoln
     Almond's administration and the Patriots "fizzled yesterday
     amid signs of tension, but Almond nonetheless said he is
     sticking to his deadline of tomorrow to cut a Providence
     stadium deal," according to Christopher Rowland of the
     Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN.  Almond did not say what would
     happen if the deadline passes with no deal, but the Patriots
     said that "they were not going to rush their deliberations." 
     Sources familiar with the talks said that the Patriots "were
     frustrated by Almond's public call" for team Owner Robert
     Kraft to sign a "memorandum of understanding" by Friday. 
     The team "has expressed discomfort" with Almond's request
     that they "commit" to RI "and not entertain competing offer"
     from MA (Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 9/18). 
          IN BOSTON: If Kraft moves the team, "there apparently
     will be no hue and cry on Beacon Hill, and certainly far
     less than there was when he tried to relocate the team to
     South Boston," according to Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON GLOBE
     in a front-page analysis of the team's stadium saga.  One
     individual involved in the talks said a RI deal is "very
     realistic, both in terms of deal structure and in terms of
     timing."  The individual added Foxboro officials "can't get
     their act together ... Rhode Island is way ahead of them. 
     Kraft preferred to stay in [Foxboro], but saw no momentum or
     energy being created."  The GLOBE's Cassidy adds that Kraft
     "is now considering" bringing NASCAR racing to Foxboro to
     replace the team (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18).  A GLOBE editorial
     calls for MA Acting Gov. Paul Cellucci to "get behind a
     proposal that combines state aid" with the Foxboro plan
     (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18).  GLOBE media writer Howard Manly notes
     a move would have the team leaving the sixth-largest media
     market, with two million TV households, to the 46th-largest
     with about 600,000 TV households (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18).

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