SBD/23/Facilities Venues

POLL: VOTERS WON'T SUPPORT TAX FOR PIRATES AND STEELERS

          A new poll shows southwestern PA voters are set to
     "resoundingly reject" a proposed 0.5% sales tax to help fund
     new sports stadiums on November 4, according to Dennis
     Barbagello of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW.  Results of the
     poll, commissioned by PA-based Lincoln Institute of Public
     Opinion Research, a non-profit foundation, "indicate that
     Allegheny County voters are likely to reject the plan by a
     two-to-one margin," and voters in the 10 other counties "may
     vote nearly three-to-one against."  Opposition to the
     proposal "is especially strong outside of Allegheny County"
     where 71% of those surveyed said they will vote against it,
     compared to 15% who "indicated support."  Other findings
     found that 43% don't believe the Pirates will leave the city 
     if a new ballpark is not constructed; 31% feel they will and
     26% had no opinion.  "Only" 15% believe the Steelers will
     leave without a new stadium.  The poll of 336 registered
     voters in the 11-county region was conducted for the Lincoln
     Institute October 15-16 by PA-based Precision Marketing. 
     Margin of error was +/- 3% (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/22).
          TURNING TIDE? ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported that
     since '89 "voters in nine cities have approved referenda to
     finance new facilities for their professional sports teams. 
     Only one has failed, Seattle, and it was later approved
     there.  So NFL officials and proponents of new stadiums in
     cities such as Philadelphia and Denver are closely watching
     the November 4 ballot issue here in Pittsburgh to see if the
     tide is turning against taxpayer support of professional
     sports franchises" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/22).   
     
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