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A new Broncos stadium "could be called Mile High, would not have a retractable roof dome, and a fourth of the cost would be paid by team owner Pat Bowlen under a bill approved by a House committee Monday night," according to Peggy Lowe of the DENVER POST. As the bill now stands, Bowlen would have to pay for 25% of the stadium, which he estimated will cost at least $340M without a dome. Previously, Bowlen's cost was capped at $100M. Under the present bill, the amount of taxpayer subsidy is unchanged, at $266M. The measure, already approved by the Senate, would extend a six- county 0.1% sales tax, already in place for Coors Field, to 2018 (DENVER POST, 3/17). In CO Springs, Mary Boyle reported that the committee also voted to retain the name Mile High Stadium, "despite the fact that selling the naming rights could save taxpayers as much as" $20M. Boyle added that the bill still "faces more controversy on the House floor" (GAZETTE TELEGRAPH, 3/17). In Denver, Chuck Green writes that the House "should be proud" of the committee's decision to require Bowlen to pay one fourth of the construction costs, "since that is a practical way of limiting extravagant spending." Green adds that the total project "is likely to cost in excess of" $500M "and probably more than" $600M (Chuck Green, DENVER POST, 3/18).
Phoenix "likely will provide shuttle buses" for the Diamondbacks, but "won't be footing the bill," according to Chris Fiscus of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Under a compromise reached Tuesday, corporate dollars would fund the cost -- about $20,000 per month -- to operate buses on game days for two or three months. Fiscus writes that the deal "would replace a controversial plan that called for a city-funded shuttle" for the team. The City Council will vote on the bus plan today. Fiscus adds that the city "balked" at a plan submitted Tuesday by Southwest Charter Lines to provide shuttle transportation, "because of its cost and because the city could not provide the buses without going out for bid." Southwest today will submit an updated bid without asking for use of the city buses (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/18).
The Tigers officially announced a deal with Tokyo-based Sumitomo Bank to finance their new ballpark. Sumitomo will fully underwrite the $145M transaction (Tigers). The Tigers "pledged control of" the new stadium and the projected revenues it will generate as collateral to secure the loan from Sumitomo (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/18)....MA House Speaker Thomas Finneran yesterday said that he "opposed a Senate plan to help" the Patriots build a new stadium in Foxboro "unless the state received part ownership of the stadium, related commercial development, or the team itself." Finneran: "[T]here's not a great deal of support or sentiment in the House for the gift of $20 million in exchange for a piece of land that we're not then able to use for '99 years" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/18).
Pirates Managing General Partner Kevin McClatchy "wowed a crowd of Pittsburgh notables" with his model of a new ballpark, "but shed little light on the team's contribution" to its $203M cost, according to Rich Lord of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. McClatchy said he was "extremely confident" that the stadium will be completed by Opening Day, 2001. The team is aiming for a groundbreaking in 14 months. Though the team will only sign a 25- to 30-year lease, McClatchy predicted the park "would keep baseball in Pittsburgh for another 111 years" if the team, state, city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County can "formalize a suitable financing agreement." McClatchy: "The money's not in the bank yet." Pirates VP/New Ballpark Development & Comm. Steve Greenberg said that the team is negotiating naming rights with "at least two" local companies, including PNC Bank. Plans for the new 38,000-seat ballpark include 64 luxury suites, 540 Field Club seats (with access to a private lounge), 2,260 upper club seats, with an average ticket price of $15 and 10,000 seats priced under $10 (PITT. TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/18). REAX: In Pittsburgh, Kim Burger writes that "skepticism was the sentiment all over" the city on Tuesday (TRIBUNE- REVIEW, 3/18). Columnist Bob Smizik: "It has been some time since the baseball future of the region looked so promising" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/17).