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A Ohio Poll, sponsored by the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Univ. of Cincinnati, shows that 68% of Ohioans said pro sports teams are not important enough to spend tax money on stadiums and coliseums for the teams; 31% said sports teams are important enough and 1% didn't know. A sample of 839 OH adults were interviewed from January 20-February 3. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.4% (ENQUIRER, 3/1). OTHER NOTES: In Denver, columnist Bob Kravitz writes that the Broncos' deal, as currently presented, "leaves me feeling like there is a better, fairer deal out there that puts more of the economic burden on private interests and the folks who actually use the stadium." He calls on the CO House to examine the deal passed by the Senate more closely (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/2)....49ers co-Owner Denise DeBartolo York "effectively shut down" DeBartolo Entertainment (DBE), the company her brother, Eddie, had said would develop the team's stadium complex. DBE reportedly let go "about a dozen of its 15 employees" in a "move that would indicate" that DeBartolo York is in control of the stadium project (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/1).
The Oakland Coliseum Authority is facing $10M in "unexpected bills for the makeover of the newly reopened basketball arena -- yet another burden for the financially troubled public agency," according to Renee Koury of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. If the Authority winds up paying the extra building costs, "it could require another infusion of public funds on top of the millions of taxpayer dollars already going toward the Raiders deal and possibly millions more to subsidize the Warriors deal." The Coliseum, however, "so far has refused to pay" the extra building costs demanded over the past month by the general contractor, CA-based Tutor-Saliba Corp. Tutor has billed the Authority for $9.8M in work it contends was "outside the scope of its contract," but public officials contend that "most of the work was required" under the $73M set-price contract. While "conceding some cost overruns," Authority Project Manager Matt Vail said he would "deny responsibility for the bulk of the" $9.8M in bills from Tutor the contractor claims was extra (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 3/1). STALEMATE: Koury also reported that the Authority is withholding about $7M that it owes Tutor, "claiming that some of the arena construction work was done poorly or left unfinished" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 3/1).
PepsiCo has become the exclusive sponsor and pouring rights provider at Shea Stadium. PepsiCo will advertise its beverage products, including soft drinks, iced teas, sports drinks and juice drinks, in the stadium and throughout the concourse areas. As part of the deal, the 600-seat picnic area in left field is being designated the "Pepsi Pavilion." The deal also includes three, 15-second spots on Diamond Vision during each regular season game and PepsiCo's All Sport Body Quencher logo displayed on coolers, plastic bottles and cups in the Mets dugout and bullpen. PepsiCo also has pouring rights to the Cubs, Mariners, Indians, Royals, Devil Rays and Diamondbacks (Pepsi). PepsiCo takes over pouring rights from Coca-Cola and NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay puts the three-year deal at $2-5M per year (NEWSDAY, 3/1).
First Union Corp. shareholders approved the pending $16.6B purchase of CoreStates Financial Corp. First Union said that 97% of the votes cast by its shareholders were in favor of the transaction, which should be completed in April (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/2). First Union spokesperson Sandy Deem said that no final decision had been made on changing the name of Philadelphia's CoreStates Center, according to Tim Panaccio of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. One option being bandied about is the FUN Center. Panaccio: "Deem says the company hasn't ruled out First Union Center as a name, despite the double entendre that could accompany the name." CoreStates Complex CEO Peter Luukko confirmed talks with First Union on an arena name: "We explored the possibility of having First Union give up the name to Comcast. But First Union said they wanted to retain successor rights to the arena's name" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/2).