SBD/9/Facilities Venues

EAST VALLEY CITIES TAKE STEP BACK FROM PRO SPORTS COMPLEX

          Three East Valley, AZ, cities -- Tempe, Mesa and
     Scottsdale -- passed on a multipurpose dome, "saying they
     liked the concept but wanted more details about private
     investment in the stadium," according to Chris Moeser of the
     ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  The decision "effectively ends chances
     that a sales tax to pay for the stadium could be before East
     Valley voters" in '98 and "casts serious doubts" about the
     proposed National Sports Center that would be home to both
     the Cardinals and Coyotes.  But city mayors and team
     officials said that the proposal just "needs more work." 
     Cardinals VP/Gen. Counsel Michael Bidwill: "[W]e've got to
     sit down with private side developers, perhaps the Coyotes,
     and put together a package."  The East Valley Partnership
     had proposed a quarter-cent sales tax that would raise about
     $223M for the sports center and the Partnership had lobbied
     the cities to create a sports district to work out details
     on the cost of the project with voters having "final say on
     any tax proposal."  But Moeser writes the fact that cites
     "were unwilling even to start the process of putting a tax
     before voters is telling" and "speaks volumes about the
     political climate in the wake of Bank One Ballpark" (ARIZONA
     REPUBLIC, 10/9).  Bidwill: "We're doing the reverse of Bank
     One Ballpark and the way that was done.   We're doing it in
     the light of day and we're doing it openly."  Coyotes COO
     Shawn Hunter said they too want "more information about the
     scope of the project, where it will be, what it will look
     like, and what it will cost" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/9). 

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