SBD/2/Facilities Venues

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              Washington Sports & Entertainment (WS&E) Owner Abe
         Pollin "plans to transform" USAirways Arena into a $60M
         shopping, entertainment and sports complex that likely would
         be renamed the Capital Centre, and add upscale stores,
         restaurants and movie theaters, according to Jackie Spinner
         of the WASHINGTON POST.  The renovation would leave the
         arena floor and some seating in place for commercial sports
         and concerts.  WS&E will have 150 days to study the project,
         renegotiate the lease and meet with community leaders. WS&E
         will partner with MD-based development firm The Cordish Co.,
         which is renovating a Baltimore complex that will feature
         the ESPN Grill (WASHINGTON POST, 4/2).  The Baltimore SUN
         says the new Centre will be a $150M complex (SUN, 4/2).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Facilities, Walt Disney

              NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Devil Rays officials are
         studying feedback from fans after Tuesday's opener at
         Tropicana Field.  A number of fans sitting in the far left
         and right corners of the field "said they could not see the
         action."  Their complaint was that the seats were "too low"
         and that a protective net, put there to "protect the fans,"
         blocked their view (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/2)....Bank One
         Ballpark has 58 ad signs inside the stadium, and there's "at
         least one more to come," as Bank One doesn't have its own
         sign yet (Ringolsby & Etkin, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 4/2).
         ...D'Backs Manager Buck Showalter received numerous phone
         calls in the dugout from fans during the franchise opener on
         Tuesday. Showalter: "Someone in one of the suites must have
         got hold of the number" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/2).
              NOTES: The MD Stadium Authority is profiled by Stephen
         Fehr in the WASHINGTON POST.  Fehr: "[T]he agency has become
         Maryland's master builder, going beyond sports facilities to
         convention centers, museums, office buildings and perhaps
         even a theater in Baltimore" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/2)....In
         Seattle, fans will get the opportunity to pay around $99 to
         put their name on a tile in a main concourse near the
         outfield seats of the Mariners new ballpark.  The Public
         Facilities District estimates that sales of 10,000 to 15,000
         tiles "would generate more than" $1M.  What the money is
         used for "remains to be decided" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/1). 

    Print | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Facilities, PepsiCo, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays

              The Heat yesterday agreed to a two-year lease agreement
         to play at Miami Arena that calls for the team to "pay
         nearly four times its current rent and give up valuable
         advertising revenue as well," according to Barry Jackson of
         the MIAMI HERALD.  Heat President/Business Operations Jay
         Cross said that the Heat wanted to wrap up the lease quickly
         because the team "wanted to stay in Miami and didn't have an
         alternative arena."  Cross: "It's not one of the best deals
         I've negotiated.  We understood it would be expensive, but
         we didn't have any leverage."  The Heat will pay about
         $50,000 per game in rent, up from its current fee of $13,000
         per.  In the new deal, Miami Arena will retain all revenue
         from the 16 arena suites and nearly all arena advertising. 
         Under the existing agreement, the Heat keeps all suite and
         ad revenue.  The Heat will also pay rent for the entire '99-
         2000 season, even though it plans to move into its new arena
         in January or February 2000.  Jackson adds that the new deal
         is "profitable" for the Miami Sports & Exhibition Authority,
         which owns the arena (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 4/2).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Miami Heat

              The Red Sox are "strongly considering a plan to
         recreate and shift Fenway Park from its current location to
         a site across Yawkey Way on the west side of the ballpark,"
         according to Anthony Flint on the front page of the BOSTON
         GLOBE.  The new park would be built beside Fenway Park while
         the team continues to play there.  After construction is
         completed, Fenway amenities, such as the Green Monster,
         "would be moved or recreated and incorporated into the new
         structure."  Red Sox spokesperson Dick Bresciani: "We are
         investigating several options.  But we don't want to come
         out and say anything until we absolutely know what direction
         we're going."  Flint adds that the ballpark effort "has
         picked up momentum in recent weeks" as a development team
         has been assembled which includes local execs and HOK Sports
         Facilities Group (Anthony Flint, BOSTON GLOBE, 4/2).

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Facilities, HOK Sports

              Boosted by a recent poll showing 73% of Harris County
         residents would vote for an arena for the Rockets requiring
         no new taxes, team officials "are prepared to start a full-
         court press for an August referendum," according to John
         Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Rockets Owner Les
         Alexander will meet with Mayor Lee Brown and County Judge
         Robert Eckels on Monday to work out details "on a deal to
         take to voters."  But Eckels called an August arena
         referendum "premature" since the team has a lease at the
         Compaq Center through 2003, and said that the focus should
         instead be on a stadium for a possible NFL team.  The Univ.
         of Houston polled 502 Harris County residents, including 69%
         who live in Houston, which is an increase from the 57% of
         county residents who live in Houston.  The poll also showed
         that 83% said it is important or very important that the
         Rockets stay in Houston (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/2).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, hp, Houston Rockets, NFL

              San Diego Mayor Susan Golding said that the city "isn't
         about to spend an additional" $20M for more improvements to
         Qualcomm Stadium to win another Super Bowl, according to Ray
         Huard of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE.  Golding said that she
         asked NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "point blank" if the
         NFL was "demanding major stadium renovations" to be
         considered for the 2002 game, and he said "no."  In a letter
         to Golding, Tagliabue wrote that "there is no requirement
         for a community to invest a specific amount of money to
         upgrade its stadium or make other financial commitments to
         the NFL" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/1).  
              PADRES PLANS: Also in San Diego, Roger Showley wrote of
         a new plan to build a $1B Padres ballpark by Mission Bay. 
         The proposal calls for a complex surrounded by hotels,
         offices, shops, sports facilities and entertainment venues. 
         Unlike the earlier Centre City East plan, local developer
         Richard Chase "quietly proposed" to the Padres that the park
         "would sit on publicly owned port tidelands and be financed
         privately."  Mayor Golding called the plan "interesting
         enough that we should spend a few weeks on it so we can
         determine whether it is feasible."  Padres President Larry
         Lucchino called the plan "intriguing" (UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/1).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, NFL, San Diego Padres

              St. Paul's state and city leaders yesterday publicly
         backed a new plan to build a $130M hockey arena, according
         to Curt Brown of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  State
         leaders proposed a plan that would set up an escrow account
         with $60.85M in state money.  Interest from that account
         would be earmarked to pay $4.5M in annual debt service on
         the RiverCity convention space, "freeing city bond money for
         the arena."  The city would be "on the hook" for $95M of
         arena costs, with the Wild contributing $35M and paying for
         any cost overruns.  The city's annual debt service on the
         arena would be about $7.5M, with state escrow covering $4.5M
         and ticket taxes and other arena revenue making up the
         remaining $3M.  Pam Wheelock, St. Paul's Dir of Economic
         Development, said she doesn't expect any changes will be
         made to the city's lease with the Wild (STAR TRIBUNE, 4/2).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Wild
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