SBD/2/Facilities Venues

ST. PAUL LEADERS FLOAT PLAN TO BEAR BRUNT OF ARENA COST

          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).

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