SBD/5/Facilities Venues


          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).

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