SBD/8/Facilities Venues

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              Acting MA Gov. Paul Cellucci "is close to reaching a
         compromise" with Patriots Owner Robert Kraft under which the
         state "would share the costs of providing police details" on
         game days.  The cost of police details for a football season
         is "about $200,000."  Kraft has been paying the cost in full
         (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/8)....In L.A., Daniel Taub reported that
         about 40% of the luxury suites at Staples Center are already
         committed, "and the rest are expected to [be] sold" early
         this year (L.A. BUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/29 issue)....U.S.
         District Judge Thomas Hogan yesterday ordered an inspection
         of the MCI Center "to ensure that his orders on seating
         arrangements for the disabled have been followed"
         (WASHINGTON POST, 1/8).  Washington Sports Abe Pollin writes
         an op-ed piece in today's WASHINGTON POST on the benefits of
         the MCI Center, saying, "My hope is that MCI Center will
         earn a reasonable, but by no means excessive, profit on its
         far greater investment" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/8). 

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots

              Procter & Gamble and the city of Jackson, TN, have
         reached an agreement in principle for the Pringles brand to
         acquire the naming rights to Jackson's new AA baseball park.
         The deal will bring the city more than $1M over a minimum of
         15 years, with additional negotiations allowing for
         potential increases in the length of term, dollars involved,
         and services provided.  The 6,000-seat Pringles Park is
         scheduled to open in April for the inaugural home game of
         the West TN AA Diamond Jaxx (City of Jackson, TN).     
              IN THE ZONE: In Memphis, TN-based auto parts chain
         AutoZone has secured naming rights to the city's planned
         downtown baseball park via a $4.3M investment, according to
         Rob Johnson of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL.  AutoZone's
         25-year naming rights deal is part of a "complex financing
         package still needed for construction" of the AAA Redbirds
         12,500-seat new home, and includes a commitment over the
         first five years for 150 field-level season tickets and 50
         club seats (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 1/7).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Procter and Gamble

              In his "most definitive comments to date about the
         Reds," Hamilton County, OH, Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus said
         that a future Reds ballpark "belongs on the riverfront,"
         which Hobson & Michaud write "all but" ends the "river vs.
         Broadway Commons debate."  Bedinghaus' comments "have made
         renovation [of Cinergy Field] the leading option." 
         Bedinghaus: "If you've got the best location and we can
         create the new ballpark experience in the old one, that
         doesn't sound like a half-bad solution."  Bedinghaus also
         said that a stadium site "would be announced" by March 31   
         -- Opening Day.  Reds Managing CEO John Allen could not be
         reached for comment yesterday (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/8).
              BENGALS CLOSER? Bedinghaus said Tuesday that a stadium
         deal, including a land swap, for the Bengals could be done
         "by the end of the month" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/7). 
         Cleveland Mayor Michael White, asked if the city would be
         interested in the Bengals if a deal in Cincy is not reached:
         "I believe that the long-term fallout and intrastate strife
         resulting from such a move is not worth the price of having
         the Bengals play in Cleveland.  If our city accepted
         Cincinnati's team, the problems that would be created
         between our communities would far outweigh the benefits of
         the deal (Geoff Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/7).

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, Facilities

              The Rockets "are appealing" the January '97 court
         decision "forcing the team to honor its lease and remain in
         Compaq Center through November 2003," according to John
         Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Rocket Ball Ltd., the
         team's controlling interest, "asked the 1st Court of Appeals
         last week for a quick decision so it can start negotiations"
         with the city of Houston for a new arena.  Garry Merritt,
         the team's legal counsel, said that the team is "merely
         following the legal avenues available to the franchise" in
         its pursuit to work out a settlement with Chuck Watson's
         Arena Operating Company.  Merritt: "Our view is this started
         in the courts and we think we should follow its course to
         see how it runs" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/8).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, hp, Houston Rockets

              The San Diego City Council has "secretly hired high-
         powered consultants from Atlanta and Denver to open
         financing negotiations with the Padres," according to Barry
         Bloom of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE.  Hired to "help
         represent city government in the negotiations" were Paul
         Jacobs, the Rockies' attorney when Coors Field was conceived
         and constructed, and Steve Labovitz, former Chief of Staff
         under Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, who handled negotiations
         for a new arena in Atlanta and oversaw the conversion of
         Olympic Stadium into Turner Field.  Assistant City Attorney
         Les Girard said the two attorneys will be paid an hourly
         rate of $225-$250, with a cap of $75,000 each.  In related
         news, city negotiators "met with Padres' officials for the
         first time last week," while not including the city's
         ballpark Task Force.  Task Force Chair Pat Shea "was clearly
         chagrined by the developments."  Golding said the task force
         will remain in existence until negotiations are completed
         and "insisted that the negotiating team's work will
         complement the task force's efforts" (UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/7).

    Print | Tags: Colorado Rockies, Facilities, San Diego Padres
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