SBD/18/Facilities Venues

PIRATES UNVEIL BALLPARK PLAN: WILL PUBLIC GO FOR IT?

          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).     

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