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D'BACKS NEW PARK AHEAD OF SCHEDULE; COLANGELO GETS PROOFED
Published November 24, 1997
In Phoenix, D'Backs officials say that Bank One Ballpark "is on schedule," and they "are confident" that the retractable roof and "grow-in-the-dark grass" will be ready for the first exhibition game on March 29, according to Bill Muller of the AZ REPUBLIC. The $354M stadium "is scheduled to be finished with at least three weeks to spare." The roof and grass "present significant hurdles," as both are the "first of their kind." D'Backs officials "are being closemouthed" about when the roof will be tested, as they "want to avoid" a "media circus" (AZ REPUBLIC, 11/23). TAXING THOUGHTS: D'Backs CEO Jerry Colangelo "has decided to install bulletproof glass" in the windows of his Bank One Ballpark office, according to Eric Miller of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Miller called this, and other security measures, "grim echoes of a 3-year old political decision" to approve a quarter-cent sales tax to build the ballpark. The tax will sunset November 30, six months to a year ahead of schedule, and "will end up harvesting more than its allotted" $238M, with extra revenue being used for stadium repairs or renovations. The 2 1/2-year tax, which cost the average taxpayer "an estimated $25 a year," helped "cause the defeat of two politicians and propel another into a race for governor, and it has been blamed for the shooting" of a county supervisor. AZ State Univ. Professor Dorothy Evans said that at "the heart is anger" over the decision to enact the tax without a public vote. Colangelo, on installing bulletproof glass: "We live in a day and age where you have to take a lot of precautions" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/23).