SBD/2/Facilities Venues

NEW POLL HAS ROCKETS FULL OF FUEL FOR POSSIBLE REFERENDUM

          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).

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