SBD/5/Facilities Venues

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  • SPORTS ON THE BALLOT, II: MINNESOTA APPROVES AMENDMENT

              Minneapolis voters "overwhelmingly approved a city
         charter amendment that will limit how much city officials
         can spend on pro sports facilities," including a new Twins
         ballpark, according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR
         TRIBUNE.  The amendment, which would limit city spending at
         $10M unless approved in a referendum, passed 70%-30%.  But
         the "swift response" to the vote was that St. Paul "might be
         the site of choice" for the Twins, "if the Legislature can
         ever come up" with a funding plan.  MN Gov. Arne Carlson
         called Tuesday's vote an "impediment to the stadium going to
         Minneapolis" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/5). 
    
    

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  • SPORTS ON THE BALLOT: STEELERS/PIRATES TROUNCED IN VOTE

              An 11-county regional tax initiative that would have
         provided financing for various projects, including new
         facilities for the Steelers and Pirates, "crashed in defeat
         Tuesday, apparently failing in all 11 counties that voted on
         it," according to Sandra Skowron of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-
         REVIEW.  The closest vote was in Allegheny County, home of
         the two teams, where it was defeated 58%-42%.  With the
         defeat, "attention shifted" to whether leaders "could
         quickly put together the so-called 'Plan B' -- an
         alternative redevelopment program that would finance new
         stadiums."  Asked after last night's vote about what happens
         now, Steelers President Dan Rooney said, "This is not over
         by any means."  Rooney said one plan might include a new
         stadium outside the city.  Pirates Managing General Partner
         Kevin McClatchy: "I'm going to get back to the businesses of
         baseball.  I'm going to let the elected officials worry
         about stadiums.  Politics is not my nature.  I'm not good at
         it."  Under the lease, the Pirates could be put up for sale
         "as early as" February if ballpark financing isn't in place
         and the team can "demonstrate losses" of $15M over three
         years (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 11/5). 
              NO BEND IN STEEL CITY: Skowron: "From the moment the
         tax plan debuted in April, it faced seemingly insurmountable
         opposition, with critics scorning it as corporate welfare
         for athletes and team owners."  Rooney: "People hate taxes. 
         We probably should have gone out and done the grassroots
         effort sooner." Skowron adds that "many voters" were also
         "mindful" that Three Rivers Stadium "still isn't paid for,"
         with the debt at about $45M (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 11/5).  In
         Philadelphia, Jeff Gammage writes that although the
         initiative was "condemned by citizens" and local government
         leaders "almost from the start," it was supported in a "rare
         front-page editorial" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PHILA.
         INQUIRER, 11/5).  The AP adds the pro-tax forces -- "mostly
         corporate leaders and sports figures -- seemed to badly
         misjudge the determination of their opponents."  Despite the
         rain and an off-season election, voter turnout was more than
         50% in Allegheny County (AP, 11/5).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • VIKES OWNERS MEET, EXPRESS FRUSTRATION OVER STADIUM ISSUE

              The Vikings' ownership group met during their monthly
         Board of Dir meeting yesterday, but afterward team President
         Roger Headrick expressed only "his frustration with his
         inability to present the team's case for a new stadium" to
         Gov. Arne Carlson, according to Don Banks of the Minneapolis
         STAR TRIBUNE.  Headrick, who has said that the team needs a
         new stadium and that renovations to the Metrodome "won't
         work," requested a meeting with Carlson late last week, but
         the Governor "reiterated" that the Vikings' needs are
         "secondary" until the Twins stadium talks are completed
         (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/5).  In St. Paul, Jeff Seidel reports that
         Philip Maas, one of the Vikings' 10 principal owners, said
         the board agreed that Headrick would be the team's only
         representative to the media (ST. PAUL STAR TRIBUNE, 11/5). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings
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