SBD/8/Facilities Venues

ROCKETS LOOK TO APPEALS COURTS TO GET THEM A NEW HOME COURT

          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).

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