SBD/17/Facilities Venues

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              DC Financial Control Board Chair Andrew Brimmer on
         Friday "withdrew approval of a $625,000 lease of a luxury
         suite requested by Mayor Marion Barry for the D.C. Sports
         Commission at the new MCI Center," according to Woodlee &
         Vise of the WASHINGTON POST.  Brimmer's actions "were
         prompted by an outraged congressional leader's threat to
         block the deal and by angry city residents who called to
         voice their displeasure."  Barry said that the suite was
         intended for use by the DC Sports Commission rather than by
         him.  Brimmer said that he spoke with MCI Center Owner Abe
         Pollin about giving the District a suite.  But Pollin said
         that city officials "had not asked for free seats when the
         arena deal was negotiated" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/15).

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              The Dallas City Council on Friday formally scheduled a
         January 17 funding election for the Mavericks' and Stars'
         proposed $230M arena at the site of an auxiliary TU Electric
         power plant, according to Mede Nix of the FT. WORTH STAR-
         TELEGRAM.  Mavs Majority Owner Ross Perot Jr.: "We picked
         the best possible site.  It's the toughest site to develop,
         but it will open up the West End."  Perot's Hillwood
         Development Corp. will acquire the site and build the arena,
         which is scheduled to open in 2000.  The power plant site
         "would allow for additional development, such as hotels and
         office buildings, as envisioned, but not promised, by Perot"
         -- something that would have been "unlikely had the previous
         front-runner," a parking lot south of Reunion Arena, been
         chosen.  With the new site, Reunion Arena will not have to
         be razed.  The Council is likely to vote on final agreements
         with the teams December 10 (STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/15).

    Print | Tags: Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Facilities

              In an "unexpected turn of events," MA House Speaker
         Thomas Finneran Friday unveiled a revised bill for helping
         the Patriots rebuild Foxboro Stadium that calls for the
         state to spend $52M to improve infrastructure around the
         facility in return for $2M in annual parking fees, according
         to Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON GLOBE.  Finneran, on Patriots
         Owner Robert Kraft: "He can take it or leave it."  But in
         the revised bill, a plan for the state to pay Kraft $20M for
         land surrounding the stadium was eliminated.  The MA House
         could vote on the plan this week.  The team said it would
         review the bill before commenting (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/15).  

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots

              Twins Owner Carl Pohlad "gave no public hint as to what
         his plans are" after Thursday's legislative defeat of a new
         ballpark, but MN Gov. Arne Carlson said the team was likely
         headed to NC, according to Weiner & Whereatt of the
         Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Carlson: "He has no choice but to
         move the Twins out of Minnesota.  It's become apparent that
         the Minnesota Twins will leave our state."  Carlson "left
         open the door" for another special session if enough
         legislators indicate they would change their positions and
         vote for a new ballpark (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/15). 
         In St. Paul, Patrick Sweeney reported that some legislators
         said they believe Pohlad's agreement to sell the team to NC
         business exec Don Beaver "is far from a done deal," and some
         legislative leaders speculated that a stadium for the Twins
         "could be an issue" when lawmakers return for the '98
         session in January.  But Twins President Jerry Bell said,
         "My instructions are, beginning next week, to begin
         negotiating the definitive agreement with the people from
         North Carolina" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/15).  Clark
         Griffith, son of former owner Calvin Griffith, still wants
         to buy the team.  Griffith plans to talk with Cubs
         broadcaster Steve Stone, who represents a group interested
         in building a stadium for the Twins (PIONEER PRESS, 11/16).
              REAX: In Minneapolis, Dane Smith, on the Twins'
         legislative defeat: "Chalk one up for the most powerful
         special interest group of all: an aware and aggressive swarm
         of citizens with their minds made up" (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/16). 
         Columnist Dick Youngblood called the politicians who voted
         down the stadium plan "demagogues," and added, "Add up all
         the invective, throw in the political posturing, and you
         have to wonder why Pohlad has stood it for so long" (STAR
         TRIBUNE, 11/15).  But in St. Paul, columnist Jim Caple: "If
         the Pohlads need someone to blame, they should look in the
         mirror" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/17).  In Minneapolis,
         Robert Whereatt offered 10 reasons for why the ballpark was
         defeated.  Among them, No. 1: "There was suspicion that Carl
         Pohlad was bluffing;" and No. 8: "Minneapolis legislators
         fled from the plan" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/15).  
              CAUTIOUS CAROLINIAN: Don Beaver on Friday said, "There
         are still things going on up there, so we'll stand by." 
         Beaver said he would "consider" an MLB request for more time
         to work out a deal in MN.   He also "stressed" Friday that
         unless voters in Guilford and Forsyth, NC, counties approve
         a May 5 referendum to impose a 1% prepared-foods tax to help
         finance a ballpark, MLB owners "would not allow the team to
         relocate here" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 11/15).  In
         Raleigh, Chip Alexander: "Right now, Triad residents don't
         appear any more eager to put their money in the pot than the
         Minnesota taxpayers" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/16). 

    Print | Tags: Chicago Cubs, Facilities, Minnesota Twins, MLB
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