SBD/27/Facilities Venues

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              The new 72,000-seat Browns stadium is "about" $14.8M
         over budget, and could reach $23.5M by the time the stadium
         opens in '99 (Karl Turner, Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER, 3/27)....
         Disney Wide World of Sports VP Reggie Williams is profiled
         by Javier Solano of the ORLANDO SENTINEL.  Williams, on the
         complex: "People are here to be entertained.  And because of
         our sports authenticity, the script changes weekly of what
         is being offered here.  One of our top goals in Year Two is
         to continue to build bridges into the Central Florida
         community" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/27)....Devil Rays Owner
         Vince Naimoli on Tropicana Field: "You'd be amazed at how
         much progress we've made."  Rays VP of Stadium Operations
         Rick Nafe: "I think we're in very good shape for baseball"
         (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/27)....Pro Player Stadium has upped
         parking from $5 to $7 at Marlins games this season (SUN-
         SENTINEL, 3/27)....In MN, Robert Whereatt writes that MN
         Governor Arne Carlson "scrambled key staff members Thursday,
         ordering them to explore alternative financing plans for a
         new hockey arena in St. Paul" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE,
         3/27).  The AP's Bill Wareham wrote that even if St. Paul
         Mayor Norm Coleman secures money to build a new hockey
         arena, "a victory in the battle may cost him the war in the
         gubernatorial campaign" (AP/STAR TRIBUNE, 3/27).

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Facilities, Miami Marlins, PepsiCo, Tampa Bay Rays, Walt Disney

              Ravens Exec VP David Modell said yesterday that "he
         doubts a 40-foot raven sculpture will be perched atop the
         club's new stadium when it opens this fall," according to
         Vito Stellino of the Baltimore SUN.  The proposed sculpture
         "has become a point of dispute" between the team and MD
         Stadium Authority Chair John Moag, who believes it would be
         a signature look for blimp TV shots during games.  Modell
         said that he's not against the idea, but other fan amenities
         are more important.  The Ravens "have the call because funds
         for the sculpture aren't in the stadium authority's budget." 
         Moag's original projected cost was $250,000, but Modell
         believes that it will cost $500,000.  Meanwhile, Modell said
         that the stadium's brick exterior will be a signature in
         itself, without the sculpture (Baltimore SUN, 3/27).  

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Facilities

              "Taking a cue from amusement parks, the newest stadiums
         in pro sports are touting all sorts of distractions --
         allowing people to spend extra cash without ever having to
         watch the game," according to Sam Walker of the WALL STREET
         JOURNAL.  Team owners say that "the added attractions will
         lure new groups to the stadiums and prompt them to spend all
         day."  Braves President Stan Kasten: "I want teens, women
         and senior citizens, and I want them to stay longer.  If
         there's nothing here for them but baseball, I lose." 
         Tropicana Field, home of the expansion Devil Rays, will
         offer an area behind the center-field grandstands that
         features a hair salon, a brew pub, a climbing wall for kids
         and showroom space for car dealerships.  Walker writes,
         though, that "what troubles some people ... about these
         stadiums of the future centers on a fundamental issue: The
         excitement these places generate has less and less to do
         with sports."  Rick Burton, Dir of the Warsaw Sports
         Marketing Center at the Univ. of OR, said that expensive new
         facilities "may backfire on teams that fail to produce a
         winner."  Walker concludes that it's "too early to judge the
         success of most of these flashy new digs, but there are some
         indicators."  For example, four of the five MLB teams with
         the highest payroll "all moved into new stadiums within the
         past six years" (Sam Walker, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/27).     

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Facilities, MLB, PepsiCo, Tampa Bay Rays
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