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The city of Denver and Ascent Entertainment "are just 'inches away' from finalizing a deal" on the proposed Pepsi Center, according to Kevin Flynn of the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS. Flynn: "Ascent wants something in writing today saying the deal is imminent, and it appears the firm will get it" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 10/29). Also in Denver, Stephen Keating writes that, although "time is running out," both sides said that a final pact "is close at hand." Still being discussed is how much control the city will have over the arena and the teams "if something goes wrong" over the 25-year life of the lease. Although Ascent Chair Charlie Lyons is "measured and careful" on the record, Keating writes that "[p]rivately, he is agitated." Lyons claims that if the city does not respond positively by 5:00pm today, the lack of a deal "will force" Ascent to "make good on" a $140M loan from NationsBank. Keating: "Ascent said that if it cannot tell NationsBank by Friday that the Pepsi Center is a done deal, the company will be forced to refinance or 'sell assets'" (DENVER POST, 10/29).
Nashville stadium officials said that two hundred barrels of toxic waste found on the fringes of the Oilers' stadium site "shouldn't hold up progress" on the $292M facility (NASHVILLE BANNER, 10/27)....The L.A. City Council voted 12-1 on final approval for the new downtown sports arena. The action "paves the way for developers to secure financing and begin preliminary work on the project." Construction could begin in January (L.A. TIMES, 10/29).
The Minnesota House and Senate yesterday "rejected every effort" to finance a new Twins ballpark, according to Whereatt & Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Although legislators agreed to reconvene November 13 for "a last-gasp effort," Whereatt & Weiner write that Tuesday's action leaves the ballpark "push in a shambles." The Senate did pass one proposal, allowing MN Gov. Arne Carlson to negotiate a sale of the team by January, at which point stock in the franchise "would then be offered." However, even that bill's sponsor, State Sen. Roy Terwilliger "acknowledged" that it was "merely a vehicle to keep the stadium effort alive." State Rep. Ann Rest, a ballpark supporter: "We were severely rejected" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/29). In St. Paul, Ragsdale & Sweeney write that the Legislature sent a "clear message to the Twins on Tuesday: If you want a new stadium, build it yourself" (PIONEER PRESS, 10/29). Twins Exec VP Kirby Puckett spoke to a crowd of "several hundred" Twins fans who rallied for a new ballpark at the State Capitol, but the STAR TRIBUNE's Conrad de Fiebre writes, "at best, the results were mixed" (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/29). IN NC: Don Beaver, who heads the ownership group that is attempting to purchase the Twins, said that if the NC Triad doesn't approve next May's referendum concerning funding for a $210M ballpark, he "would look toward Charlotte," according to Stan Olson of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Beaver, who "expects" the May vote to win approval, said "[i]f the Triad vote fails, Charlotte would certainly be next in our plans" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/29).