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  • COURT'S SILENCE SENDS MESSAGE: MCI MUST ACCOMMODATE DISABLED

              The Supreme Court yesterday "let stand without comment"
         an appeals court ruling which required the MCI Center to
         provide wheelchair-bound patrons with "seating that allows
         them to view events over the heads of standing spectators,"
         according to Maryann Haggerty of the WASHINGTON POST.  The
         Court's action is the "final say" in a dispute which began
         in '96 when the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), a DC-
         based group, sued Washington Sports Owner Abe Pollin over
         the arena design.  PVA's suit "pushed to make certain" that
         handicapped seating was distributed around the building and
         that "users could see the action if other patrons stood up." 
         After losing in federal court, Pollin and the PVA "agreed on
         a plan to provide up to" 180 seats for the handicapped at
         the arena, which has proceeded while Pollin "went through
         unsuccessful appeals."  But PVA Deputy General Counsel
         Lawrence Hagel said that the PVA "is not yet satisfied" that
         Pollin has complied with the plan.  Hagel, on Pollin's
         adherence to the plan: "The question is to what degree do
         they not meet it and how important that is."  Hagel said
         that he hoped the rulings regarding MCI Center have "set a
         precedent to a certain degree" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/10).
         
    

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  • FACILITY NOTES

              The city of Denver is "lobbying to remove" the $100M
         cap on the Broncos' contribution to the team's proposed new
         stadium.  City Projects Dir Liz Orr said that the city wants
         the Broncos to "share responsibility for cost overruns with
         the public" (DENVER POST, 3/10).  The Broncos announced that
         they would not raise ticket prices next season.  Owner Pat
         Bowlen: "A ticket increase is not going to solve our
         financial problems.  A new stadium is going to solve our
         financial problems" (DENVER POST, 3/10)....Beginning today,
         the Padres will hold a series of monthly workshops at
         Qualcomm Stadium, where "as many as" 30 members of the
         public can make suggestions about features for the team's
         proposed new ballpark (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/8). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Denver Broncos, Facilities, San Diego Padres
  • TIGERS OWNER MULLS NAMING RIGHTS DEAL, AGAINST HIS WISHES

              Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch "wants to call the team's new
         ballpark either The Tiger Ballpark or Tiger Stadium," but he
         "might not get his wish," according to John Lowe of the
         DETROIT FREE PRESS.  Yesterday, for the first time, Ilitch
         said he might sell the naming rights to the ballpark, saying
         such a move "might be the price" for having a "state-of-the-
         art" stadium.  Lowe writes that with Ford already acquiring
         naming rights to the Lions' stadium, Detroit-based GM and
         Chrysler are the "most obvious candidates" for the Tigers.
         The "feeling in the Tigers organization" is that it can get
         "at least" $40M for the naming rights.  Ilitch "downplayed
         recent indications" that he and "several" banks can't agree
         on collateral for a $145M loan for the ballpark, and said
         that he's "ready to invest an extra" $20M in the facility. 
         He added that he "doesn't know if he can get more" financing
         from the banks, which may lead to the naming rights sale. 
         Ilitch said he could resist selling naming rights if the
         team is "within budget" on the park (FREE PRESS, 3/10).
    
    

    Print | Tags: DaimlerChrysler, Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, Facilities
  • WITH PLAN A VOTED DOWN, PITTSBURGH OFFICIALS OFFER PLAN B

              Allegheny County and Pittsburgh city leaders yesterday
         proposed an $803M plan to finance new stadiums for the
         Pirates and Steelers along with expansion of the city's
         convention center, according to Rich Lord of the Pittsburgh
         TRIBUNE-REVIEW.  The so-called "Plan B" would have
         "taxpayers bearing more than" 75% of the cost.  While both
         teams have offered $85M toward facility financing, "city and
         county leaders have made it clear that the $85 million was
         not enough."  Allegheny County Commissioner Bob Cranmer said
         that "the team contributions must increase if the package is
         to work" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/10). 
              DETAILS: The package, announced by Pittsburgh Mayor Tom
         Murphy, would include $633M in public funds, "relying on
         such traditional methods as tax revenue and bond income." 
         It would also tax pro athletes who play in the city but
         don't live in PA.  Private financing would bring in "at
         least" $170M, including the team's contributions and the 
         possible selling of portions of the stadiums -- such as
         billboards/scoreboards -- to private investors.  The selling
         of naming rights could also be included.  Cranmer: "There's
         been a lot of talk about naming the new football stadium
         after Mr. Art Rooney.  If that's the case, that's going to
         cost (the Rooney family) money."   The Steelers said part of
         their contribution would include PSL sales, while the
         Pirates "would not say how they intend to finance their
         contribution" (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/10).  Pirates Owner Kevin
         McClatchy: "[T]his is a historic day for Pittsburgh and the
         region.  We're excited about signing a lease for 25 or 30
         years and being a member of the Pittsburgh community for a
         long time" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/10). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers
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