SBD/7/Facilities Venues

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              The Association of Builders and Contractors of IN
         (ABCI) filed a lawsuit "to overturn the agreement that the
         state signed to build the new NCAA headquarters downtown,"
         according to Stuart Hirsch of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS. 
         The suit "alleges that project labor agreements [PLAs]
         special pacts that require all contractors on the contract
         to pay union wages and benefits are illegal."  ABCI Exec Dir
         J.R. Gaylor: "PLAs only serve to eliminate competition from
         the marketplace.  By eliminating competition, PLAs increase
         costs of construction."  An agreement for the new NCAA HQ, 
         scheduled to open next summer, and for the Hall of Champions
         museum, scheduled for 2000, was signed in February.  ABCI
         attorney S. Douglas Trolson said the group is seeking an
         injunction, but "they don't want to stop the project."  They
         "want future contracts to be open to all competitors."  
         Trolson: "We are not asking them to go back and reopen any
         contracts" (Stuart Hirsch, INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 4/7).  

    Print | Tags: Facilities, NCAA

              Ushers, ticket takers and janitors will work the
         Pirates home opener today under a new contract "that gives
         Three Rivers Stadium management attendance and disciplinary
         controls it had sought to improve customer service."
         Spectacor Management Group "said it won the right to move
         employees who mistreat fans, violate policy or are otherwise
         negligent or unable to do the job."  The settlement "ends a
         long squabble that included a three-game strike last
         September" (POST-GAZETTE, 4/6)....Groundbreaking ceremonies
         took place yesterday in MO for the 10,000-seat St. Charles
         County Family Arena, which is expected to attract "at least
         115 events each year."  As tenants, investors have lined up
         a United Hockey League franchise and a CBA team, both to
         begin play in '99 (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Pittsburgh Pirates

              The most "eye-opening aspect" of Bank One Ballpark "is
         how relentlessly fans are exposed to advertising," according
         to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES.  Elliott writes that
         the sponsored ballpark name "is only the beginning," as
         other sponsored features include "the Little Caesars
         Defensive Lineup" and the D'Backs starting lineup "brought
         to you by US West."  Elliott adds that an entire level of
         the stadium has been designated as the Infiniti Diamond
         Level, brought to you buy Infiniti, "the official luxury car
         of the" D'Backs.  The Infiniti logo also appears on tickets,
         seating charts and wall posters (N.Y. TIMES, 4/7). 

    Print | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Facilities

              Houston Mayor Lee Brown and Harris County Judge Robert
         Eckels met with Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander yesterday,
         "then said separately the sports authority should heat up
         negotiations on a new arena," according to John Williams of
         the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Both Brown and Eckels said the Harris
         County-Houston Sports Authority "should begin negotiating a
         deal with the Rockets."  Brown said he will spend the "next
         few days" speaking with people in the community to determine
         if winning an August referendum is feasible.  Brown: "My
         sense is that the people of Houston love the Rockets just as
         I love the Rockets, and they want the Rockets to be
         competitive with a new arena."  Sports Authority Co-Chair
         Billy Burge said that an August vote would be a "tight
         squeeze" and that the next date would be in November, which
         "would be a bad time if the Houston Independent School
         District conducts a bond issue."  Burge said the "next best
         time might be in January" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Houston Rockets

              Texas Motor Speedway's racing surface "will be
         overhauled in response to problems associated with the track
         and complaints from drivers before and after Sunday's
         Winston Cup Texas 500," according to Simon Gonzalez of the
         FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM.  The overhaul, "expected to cost"
         $1M-$2M, will include "correcting the problem that has
         allowed water to seep through the track asphalt and
         revamping the surface to allow side-by-side racing."  Track
         Owner Bruton Smith said the renovations will be done in time
         for the Craftsman Truck series race on June 5.  Gonzalez
         adds that the "plan calls for making TMS a clone of
         Charlotte Motor Speedway" -- also owned by Smith.  Smith:
         "Texas is the same size and configuration as Charlotte, and
         what we will do is follow, as closely as possible, those
         contours of Charlotte" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/7).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Speedway Motorsports Inc.

              Officials from St. Paul and the NHL Wild "agreed Monday
         to rework their lease" so that the team would pay the city
         from $2.5M to $6M a year in taxes on a new $130M RiverCentre
         arena, according to Brown & Whereatt of the Minneapolis STAR
         TRIBUNE.  Under the new proposal, the Wild would recoup
         $2.1M in annual ticket surcharge proceeds and $385,000 in ad
         revenue currently earmarked for the city.  The new deal also
         calls for the team to strengthen language in the lease to
         prevent it from being able to move.  Wild CEO Jac Sperling:
         "We think we made a major step to address the issues raised
         by legislators" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/7).  
              RUMBLINGS: In St. Paul, Jack Coffman reports that the
         debate over state aid for the Wild's arena yesterday "seemed
         to be headed for a showdown" between MN Senate Majority
         Leader Roger Moe and Gov. Arne Carlson.  Moe, a critic of
         providing state aid to St. Paul's hockey efforts, "cast
         doubt" that a plan will be part of a $970M capital budget. 
         Carlson has said that "he'll veto a capital budget that
         doesn't help St. Paul" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/7).  

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Wild, NHL
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