SBD/19/Facilities Venues

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              MN Gov. Arne Carlson "declared his confidence"
         Wednesday in the proposed funding plan for a St. Paul hockey
         arena and in the close association between the Minnesota
         Wild and the M.A. Mortenson Co. picked to oversee
         construction of the $130M arena, according to Robert
         Whereatt of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  But "several"
         legislators said "disclosures this week are a potential
         setback in St. Paul's efforts" to have the state pick up
         $65M of the arena's cost.  New reports showed that M.A.
         Mortenson pledged $1M to become an investor in the team and
         "helped land" the NHL franchise by lending the owners
         $100,000 to pay the fee.  The Wild "eventually rejected the
         investment offer."  Also, former St. Paul City Council
         President Dave Thune, once an "opponent of the arena," was
         hired by Mortenson while he was serving on the council.   He
         later voted to allow the Wild, not the city, to choose the
         construction manager, which turned out to be Mortenson. 
         Carlson's Press Secretary, Jackie Renner, said that despite
         the reports, Carlson "does not see any way in which the
         public interest is not protected."   Members of the MN
         Senate and House began meeting yesterday to work out
         differences in capital-improvement bills passed by each
         body.  The House version includes $65M for the arena, while
         the Senate version has no arena funds (STAR TRIBUNE, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Wild, NHL

              For the "second time in as many years," a court has
         told NHL Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga to "pay higher wages
         to construction workers at the Broward County Arena site,"
         according to Lebowitz & Fleshler of the Ft. Lauderdale SUN-
         SENTINEL.  The team plans to appeal the decision, reached
         yesterday by the Fourth District Court of Appeals, which
         ruled that it must pay "so-called 'prevailing wages'," which
         are required by Broward County law but were not included in
         contracts between the county and the Panthers' Arena
         Development Corporation (PADC).  PADC President Alex Mucho
         said that the decision, and the continuing legal process,
         "will have no impact on" the project, which is on schedule
         to open in October (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Florida Panthers

              CT Governor John Rowland today will present an
         "ambitious" plan to "invigorate" downtown Hartford.  The
         plan includes a convention center, "perhaps with an attached
         domed or outdoor stadium, representing a state investment of
         roughly" $150M (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/19)....In Denver, a new
         survey by Ciruli Associates polled 546 registered voters and
         found that 57% would vote for a stadium tax to help finance
         a new Broncos stadium, while 39% opposed the project (ROCKY
         MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/19).  The survey, conducted this month, is
         an increase from 53% who supported the tax before the
         Broncos won the Super Bowl, but a "slight decrease" from
         numbers immediately after the Super Bowl, which showed
         support "running closer" to 60% (DENVER POST, 3/19)....The
         Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) has raised parking at
         Houlihan's Stadium from $5 to $6.  The first such increase
         in six years will take effect with the MLS Mutiny's opening
         game.  TSA does not control parking prices for Buccaneers
         games, and the team "is expected to announce its prices in
         the near future" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: Denver Broncos, Facilities, MLS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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