SBD/2/Facilities Venues

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              In MA, PR execs, lobbyists and "assorted other experts
         on the art of the deal are lining up at the door" of the Red
         Sox, offering the club help in building a new ballpark,
         according to Anthony Flint of the BOSTON GLOBE.  But the
         team has not "enlisted anyone's aid, despite the need to lay
         groundwork for such a massive project -- raising further
         speculation that the club may be happy for the moment with
         the status quo, or is preparing to sell the team before
         beginning any stadium construction."  While the team has
         "prepared plans" that show what their ballpark needs would
         be, it hasn't "taken what many regard as the critical step; 
         marshalling political support in City Hall and on Beacon
         Hill, doing community outreach and shaping an image for the
         team for the next century.  And that's where Boston's
         dealmakers are clamoring to help" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/2).
              KEEP YOUR SOX ON:  One source close to the team said
         the Red Sox "need to step back and say yes, this is a
         wonderful asset that we have, and there's incredible
         attachment in this community for this team, but that this
         issue doesn't get resolved at the emotional level.  This is
         a financial, land-use and political issue.  And they really
         do need help."  Among those mentioned as possible advisors
         include Larry Moulter, former FleetCenter Chair now at Woolf
         Assoc.  Regarding a possible sale, sources close to the Red
         Sox say "there is no plan whatsoever to sell the team," but
         that they are "merely moving slowly" after seeing the
         stadium troubles of the Patriots (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/2).

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Facilities, New England Patriots

              MA-based Staples has agreed to pay $100M over 20 years
         for the naming rights to L.A.'s downtown arena complex
         scheduled to open in fall '99.  The facility will be named
         the Staples Center, and the company will also be awarded
         marketing, promotional and signage rights, community-based
         programs -- including the Staples Center Foundation which
         will raise $1M for inner-city kids -- and various amenities
         in Staples Center over the next 20 years (Staples).  DC-
         based ProServ, which was retained by the NHL Kings,
         negotiated the rights deal (ProServ).  The facility will
         seat 20,000 for basketball, 19,000 for hockey; includes 162
         suites and 2,500 club seats (L.A. TIMES, 12/2).
              REAX: In L.A., Randy Harvey notes the visibility of the
         arena, and writes that "one reason Staples paid so dearly
         for the naming rights is that the arena will be at the
         interchange of the 10 and 110 freeways" (L.A. TIMES, 12/2). 
         In N.Y., Stefan Fatsis writes that at $5M per year, the
         Staples Center naming rights deal "raises the bar even
         higher."  ISI President Frank Vuono: "It's a dynamic market
         and a dual-purpose facility" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/2). 
         Developers are also looking for "an additional 10-12 smaller
         founding sponsors that will result in arena signage" (Marc
         Pollack, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 12/2).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Los Angeles Kings

              Maple Leafs Majority Owner Steve Stavro said that he is
         "firmly committed" to building a new arena at Exhibition
         Place on Toronto's waterfront, according to Gail Swainson of
         the TORONTO STAR.  Stavro, speaking to Metro Toronto's
         financial priorities committee, said the team is "focusing
         exclusively" on the site.  Swainson writes that "[w]ith his
         unequivocal statements, Stavro ... seemed to finally put to
         bed" the rumors that his club could still join the Raptors
         at Air Canada Centre.  Stavro told the Metro committee, "I
         give you my word" that the Leafs "are not engaged in talks"
         with the Raptors.  He added he will only join with the
         Raptors if the Leafs control the site.  Stavro: "Hockey
         can't be second, it's the number one sport."  The committee
         approved the team's Exhibition Place proposal, which now
         goes to Metro Council December 10.  The committee asked the
         Leafs for a luxury box to be used by city officials and
         asked for traffic and public transit studies to determine
         whether upgrades are required (TORONTO STAR, 12/2).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors

              The MCI Center will open tonight with the Sonics-
         Wizards game, to be seen live on TNT.  The game sold out
         "late yesterday" and will be televised locally on WUSA-TV. 
         President Clinton will attend (WASHINGTON POST, 12/2).  An
         editorial in today's WASHINGTON POST states that Washington
         Sports Chair Abe Pollin, "an old Washingtonian who no doubt
         remembers downtown when it was the place to be, has made a
         good investment in the city's future based on respect for
         and understanding of its past."  In addition, DC columnist
         Thomas Boswell: "As everyone will soon see, MCI Center is an
         unpretentious jewel that maximizes everything about its
         fabulously energized location. ... As a sports facility, MCI
         Center is clean, simple, pretty and, perhaps, the coziest
         20,000-seat building in the country" (WASHINGTON POST 12/2).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Turner Sports
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