SBD/11/Facilities Venues

EX MARKS THE SPOT: COUNCIL APPROVES LEAFS ARENA PLAN

          The Maple Leafs' proposal for a new arena at Exhibition
     Place won approval from the Metropolitan Toronto Council
     yesterday "with ease," according to David Shoalts of the
     Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  But the approval "doesn't mean the
     Leafs have committed themselves" to the $250M project, as it
     now moves into an 80-day due diligence period during which
     both the team and the council "will consider various
     questions."  On February 28, the Leafs will have to decide
     "whether to commit" financially to the site.  Leafs Chair
     Steve Stavro said that he will not use the due diligence
     period to force the Raptors and Owner Allan Slaight into an
     arena partnership (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/11).  
          EMPTY GARDEN: Stavro added that Maple Leaf Gardens
     "definitely will not" be torn down.  Stavro: "We're looking
     to preserve [MLG] as it was built and rent it out for
     different sports and charities" (TORONTO STAR, 12/11).

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