SBD/2/Facilities Venues

STAVRO "COMMITTED" TO EX, SAYS HOCKEY WON'T TAKE BACK SEAT

          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).

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