SBD/28/Facilities Venues

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              Hamilton County (OH) will pay "[a]t least" $50M in
         professional fees to architects, lawyers, construction
         managers and other consultants on the Bengals' stadium
         project.  County records show that the fees "already paid or
         budgeted" for the project total "just over" $50M, led by the
         $19.8M commission for L.A.-based NBBJ Sports &
         Entertainment, the project's architectural firm (CINCY POST,
         4/27)....The bright "Las Vegas" stadium sign in Bank One
         Ballpark has "prompted an outcry" from Phoenix' tourism
         industry.  Phoenix Con. & Visitors Bureau President David
         Radcliffe: "It's disappointing to have something like that
         in our own backyard.  It takes away some of the visibility
         for our own city" (AP/SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 4/25).

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Facilities

              MN-based Ellerbe Beckett (EB) has "agreed to design new
         stadiums and arenas so spectators in wheelchairs have a full
         view when other fans stand up,"  according to an AP report
         in the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Yesterday, the Justice
         Dept. announced an agreement which settles a lawsuit filed
         against EB in '96, which claimed the firm had violated the
         Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) in its designs of
         arenas in Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Portland
         (OR), and Washington, DC.  The settlement, under terms of
         which EB has agreed to "design future sites along
         guidelines" which meet the ADA's requirements, also includes
         "detailed measurements for the average heights of standing
         spectators and the average height of a person in a
         wheelchair" to be used in calculating sight lines for the
         disabled (AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/28).

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              The Tigers and Lions have worked out a deal to "share
         parking spaces and revenues for their future side-by-side
         downtown stadiums," according to Patricia Montemurri of the
         DETROIT FREE PRESS.  The deal will enable Lions fans to use
         the Fox Theatre parking structure, which is controlled by
         Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch, with parking fees going to the
         Lions.  In addition, a northwest chunk of downtown Detroit
         "can be open to other development, now that the teams aren't
         targeting that area for one big parking lot."  The two teams
         "had quarreled" over how much downtown land should be used
         for parking, but in the new deal, the Tigers will buy 12
         vacant parcels and the city-owned GAR building for $1.6M. 
         The team will then "landscape" parking lots of 1,000-1,200
         spaces on the parcels, to be managed by Ilitch-owned Olympia
         Entertainment.  The GAR building will be renovated for
         commercial use.  The Tigers will control the lots, except on
         football game days and "other Lions stadium events," when
         the Lions will get "all parking revenues."  All told, the
         teams will have control of "about" 5,500 spaces for game
         days (Patricia Montemurri, DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/28). 

    Print | Tags: Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, Facilities

              Opening new arenas "makes sports franchises giddy," but
         Alan Snel of the Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL wrote that
         moving season-ticket holders into the new arenas "gives them
         headaches."  In FL, the Heat and NHL Panthers face this
         "transition challenge" over the next 20 months.  Last week,
         the Panthers sent seat assignments to 13,000 ticket holders,
         which were based on surveys returned by fans "who indicated
         what seats and price ranges they preferred."  The Heat will
         invite fans to the arena to pick their seats "based on
         priority numbers they received when they opened their
         original accounts."  At the NBA's recent marketing meeting
         in Charlotte, Heat Exec VP/Marketing & Sales Michael
         McCullough "heard tales from the other teams about how fans
         picked seats from seating diagrams only to find the seats
         didn't exist when the arenas opened because of tweaks in
         construction plans."  The Panthers have hired VA-based
         Distributed System Architects, which will be paid out of the
         team's $50,000 relocation budget.  The Heat is negotiating
         with CO-based ticket/relocation consultant Matthew Bortz,
         and has assigned the team's Customer Relations Manager Rod
         Segal "to focus on the fan move" (SUN-SENTINEL, 4/27).  

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Florida Panthers, Miami Heat, NBA

              NJ Gov. Christie Whitman said that her administration
         is "not conducting hush-hush talks" with Yankees Owner
         George Steinbrenner about moving the franchise to the state,
         according to Tom Hester of the Newark STAR-LEDGER.  Whitman
         said that the talks have "nothing to do with the state
         government."  Whitman: "My understanding from reading the
         papers -- and that's all I know about it -- is that there
         are some private investors who have made some overtures." 
         Whitman also "reiterated" her position that NJ would "love
         to have the Yankees, but the state ... isn't going to build
         a stadium" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 4/28).  NYC Mayor Rudy
         Giuliani "fired a warning shot" to NJ yesterday,
         "threatening to go on a sports-team raiding party" if NJ
         tries to lure the Yankees.  Giuliani: "If they're interested
         in talking to our baseball team, we're interested in talking
         to their soccer team and maybe a few of their other teams." 
         In N.Y., Tom Topusis writes that the Jets and MLS MetroStars
         would be Giuliani's "[p]rime targets" (N.Y. POST, 4/28).
              MAN ON AN ISLAND? In N.Y., Charles Bagli writes that
         Giuliani "finds himself with few allies" in his effort to
         build a new West Side ballpark for the Yankees.  NY Gov.
         George Pataki "has not endorsed the plan," while prominent
         city officials have said that the team "should remain
         forever in the Bronx."  Business leaders "have remained
         silent" on the issue, not wanting to alienate Giuliani,
         while "privately expressing concerns" about his plan (N.Y.
         TIMES, 4/28).  Also in N.Y., POST gossip columnist Neal
         Travis reports that Pataki and other state execs "want
         nothing to do with the West Side scheme" (N.Y. POST, 4/28). 

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New York Jets, New York Yankees
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