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In a "sign of confidence" over the Bengals' stadium deal, the Hamilton County commissioners Monday "tentatively approved" a $73M bond issuance to help fund the new riverfront facility, according to Barry Horstman of the CINCINNATI POST. The commissioners authorized a team of seven bond underwriting firms to proceed with plans to begin selling the bonds next week as the first installment toward the $400M-plus football stadium project. Horstman wrote, however, that "the commissioners' action -- a scaled back version of an initial" $323M bond plan -- "reveals caution and concerns related to the slim possibility that the stadium deal could collapse" (CINCINNATI POST, 1/6).
Due to a conflict at the SkyDome with the Blue Jays, the Raptors will host the Sixers in their season finales at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton on April 19 (TORONTO SUN, 1/7)....The NHL told the Panthers they will open the '98-99 season on October 9, in their new arena in Sunrise, FL. The AFL FL Bobcats "likely will play in the Panthers' new building beginning in" '99 (MIAMI HERALD, 1/7).