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Bengals Owner Mike Brown "has given Cincinnati one month to resolve what he calls a 'crisis' over a new football stadium or the team could leave the city," according to Rick Van Sant of the CINCINNATI POST. Brown said the stadium "won't be built if city of Cincinnati land for the site isn't transferred" to Hamilton County by January 31. Brown: "We are in a crisis. We want to make sure people understand we are at a critical point and what will happen if we let it slide by" (CINCINNATI POST, 12/30). The ENQUIRER's Geoff Hobson reported that with Cincinnati city officials "wondering where the Bengals can get a better stadium deal, the team has one answer: Cleveland." Bengals Dir of Stadium Development Troy Blackburn, on Cleveland: "It's a stronger market. But notwithstanding, we're trying to get the deal in our hometown" (ENQUIRER, 12/31).
Cleveland Mayor Michael White rejected bids for electric work on the new Browns stadium, when they "came in $9 million higher than expected." In Akron, David Adams wrote the rejection "is a strong signal of the city's intent to hold down costs" (BEACON JOURNAL, 12/25)....In Dallas, a new pro-arena TV spot features Southwest Airlines Chair Herb Kelleher. Southwest has contributed $2,500 to the campaign for a new arena (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/5)....In Cincinnati, the Reds "are focusing on a renovated Cinergy Field instead of a new stadium" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 12/31).
With the demolition of the old Boston Garden set to begin next month, FleetCenter execs want to move the "cash- generating" Budweiser billboard that has been mounted to the side of the Garden for decades to their building, according to Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. But, city officials "aren't so sure" they like the idea of the 147-x-35-foot sign put in front of the FleetCenter's "more modern facade." Boston Redevelopment Authority spokesperson Kelley Quinn, said it "would be interested in going through a design review so the sign could be attractively put on." FleetCenter CEO Richard Krezwick "declined to disclose" the terms of the signage agreement with A-B, but Cassidy wrote that the sign is "estimated to generate about $25,000 a month in revenue" (Tina Cassidy, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/3).
In a partial ruling on a lawsuit filed by handicapped patron Bob Pike against the Rose Garden, U.S. Magistrate Donald Ashmanskas ruled that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) "did not require elevated seating for wheelchair areas" at the Rose Garden, according to Ashbel Green of the OREGONIAN. But Ashmanskas' decision still leaves the arena with "several potentially expensive changes," as he ruled that wheelchair seats in the Rose Garden are "concentrated in less desirable parts of the arena," and ruled that the Rose Garden's 70 executive suites "violate" the ADA. Ashmanskas also said "he was troubled by ticket-selling practices that prevent people in wheelchairs from buying the best seats." The U.S. Dept. of Justice feels Ashmanskas "could expand" the arena design "debate with his handling of executive suites and ticket sales, which have far-reaching financial implications for arenas" (OREGONIAN 12/29).