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CITIES WRESTLE WITH HOW BEST TO HANDLE FACILITY ISSUES

          The city of Denver has paid $1.5M in legal, financing
     and engineering consultants to handle issues concerning
     replacing Mile High Stadium and McNichols Arena since '91,
     according to Alan Snel of the DENVER POST.  Snel: "Hiring
     sports consultants poses an age-old dilemma for cities. 
     Faced with local professional teams seeking new taxpayer-
     subsidized stadiums, municipalities nationwide have to
     decide whether it's more cost-effective to create in-house
     positions to handle complicated stadium negotiations or hire
     private-sector consultants for those jobs."  Denver has
     "gone the consultant route" and its top money-makers have
     been local development lawyer Tom Ragonetti and MN sports
     finance consultant Craig Skiem (DENVER POST, 11/23).   
          IS IT WORTH IT? Snel listed all sports facility-related
     expenditures, which included $255,866 to Coopers & Lybrand
     from '91-95 for financing advice on "sports trends" and the
     arena issue.  The city has also paid Skiem's MN-based CSL
     Entertainment $215,605 over six years.  City Council
     President Cathy Reynolds: "Yeah, the city spent a lot of
     money on consultants.  But it's worth it."  Mayoral staffer
     Liz Orr said having people work in-house on sports "is a
     waste of taxpayer money."  Skiem added that he "doesn't know
     one city that has a full-time staff person that performs"
     his type of consulting duties (DENVER POST, 11/23).

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