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              The Cincinnati City Council voted 6-3 in favor of
         endorsing Broadway Commons as the site for a new Reds
         ballpark.  The Reds, however, still favor a new home "on the
         riverfront" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/25)....Rockies Owner
         Jerry McMorris, speaking before Denver business leaders,
         "made a pitch" for a new stadium for the Broncos: "Mile High
         Stadium is clearly the worst stadium in the country -- by
         far" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 9/26)....TX Motorplex Owner Billy
         Meyer "has confirmed" his interest in building a new drag
         racing track "closer to Dallas and moving his two NHRA
         events from his Ennis facility" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/25).

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, Facilities, NHRA

              MA officials yesterday unveiled their "last, best
         offer" to keep the Patriots, according to Tina Cassidy of
         the BOSTON GLOBE.  A new bill offers the Patriots $50M for
         "land and improvements" around Foxboro Stadium, and calls
         for team Owner Robert Kraft to spend "that amount" on
         facility improvements.  But the deal still "hasn't got an
         OK" from State House Speaker Thomas Finneran, who has been a
         "vocal opponent of spending public money on anything beyond
         infrastructure improvements."  Cassidy adds that Finneran
         did not "specifically endorse the new bill, and was cagey in
         response to the legislation."  MA Sec. of Admin. & Finance
         Charles Baker said that the state's offer "won't get any
         better" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/26).  In Providence, Tom Mooney
         reports that MA officials said "repeatedly" that should the
         bill pass, "they believe Kraft will keep the Patriots in
         Foxboro."  Neither Kraft nor any team officials were
         available for comment yesterday (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 9/26). 
         Also in Providence, Christopher Rowland writes that Gov.
         Lincoln Almond's administration "is refusing to sit down"
         with the team for more stadium talks "until the Patriots
         show a willingness to close the deal."  Almond said that a
         difference of "about" $2M remained between the two sides and
         sources tell Rowland that a "key sticking point" remains
         disagreement over the size of a ticket surcharge that would
         help pay development costs (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 9/26).
              BANKING NEWS: Boston-based Fleet Financial Group has
         been "quietly advising the state of Rhode Island" in its
         negotiations with the Patriots, according to Joan Vennochi
         of the BOSTON GLOBE.  Vennochi adds that Fleet spokesperson
         James Mahoney "stresses the bank - so far - is working on
         behalf of Rhode Island, not the Patriots."  While Fleet's
         "local rival," BankBoston, is the team's banking partner,
         Vennochi writes that it is "clear Fleet is interested" in
         the team as a business partner (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/26).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots

              The Steelers and Pirates ended "months of speculation"
         yesterday by unveiling "their financial share of two
         proposed North Side sports stadiums," according to Sandra
         Skowron of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW.  Steelers
         President Dan Rooney announced that the team will commit to
         a private contribution of $50M toward the cost of
         constructing a new stadium and said that as part of the
         team's commitment, it would sign a 25-year lease for the new
         stadium.  The team would assume responsibility for cost
         overruns in the construction of the new stadium, provided
         that it control the design and construction phase of the
         project.  The Pirates would commit $35M for construction
         costs of a natural grass stadium expected to cost $185-200M
         and, like the Steelers, would sign a 25-year lease and pay
         for cost overruns if they control construction and design. 
         Pirates Managing General Partner Kevin McClatchy said that
         the team hasn't determined how it will raise the $35M yet. 
         Rooney said that his club "likely would borrow" $50M to
         build a $185M stadium and then use team revenues to pay off
         the loan.  Team execs were "hopeful their commitments would
         bolster support" for a 0.5% sales tax increase which will
         appear on the ballot in 11 counties (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/26). 

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers
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