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MCI CENTER EARNING RAVE REVIEWS BEFORE OPENING NEXT WEEK

          The MCI Center, which opens next Tuesday, was reviewed
     by architectural writer Benjamin Forgey of the WASHINGTON
     POST, who called it "an unusually attractive, welcoming
     sports arena. ... This is one of the most inviting athletic
     buildings anywhere because it is not just an arena. 
     Impressive stores, restaurants and even a sports museum --
     all saturated with video images and interactive displays --
     surround" its entrance.  Forgey added that the "seating bowl
     is a handsome, commodious affair.  Arranged in three tiers,
     it provides excellent sight lines to the playing floor even
     from the highest seat in the third tier."  More Forgey:
     "[T]here are negatives.  Foremost, to my mind, is the rigid
     stratification of the seating arrangements."  Also, parking
     "is certain to be a temporary problem. ... And it could
     become a long-term headache."  Forgey's conclusion: "All
     parties involved ... deserve sizable credit for the jobs
     they did on the MCI Center.  The efforts to make it a
     welcoming urban neighbor are significant and largely
     successful" (Benjamin Forgey, WASHINGTON POST, 11/22).   

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