SBD/22/Facilities Venues

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              Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander said Thursday he "will
         drop his lawsuit to get out of Compaq Center before his
         lease expires in 2003 because he is satisfied officials will
         have a new arena by then," according to John Williams of the
         HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Alexander has spent "about three years"
         trying to get a new arena in Houston, arguing that the team
         can't stay competitive without luxury suites, club seats and
         "other revenue boosters."  Harris County-Houston Sports
         Authority member Michael Stevens said that the Authority had
         "started preliminary negotiations with Alexander."  In other
         news, Alexander said he will "renew efforts" to acquire 25%
         of the Vikings with a new investor group after Tom Clancy
         withdrew his bid on Wednesday (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/22).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, hp, Houston Rockets, Minnesota Vikings

              Hamilton County officials sold $273M in bonds on
         Tuesday, the "final financing instruments for the Bengals'
         new stadium," according to Lucy May of the CINCINNATI
         ENQUIRER.  The county received an "average" 5.16% interest
         rate on the bonds.  Earlier this year, the county issued
         $71.6M in bonds at a 4.87% interest rate, and in all, the
         county has sold $344.6M in bonds to pay for the stadium. 
         May wrote that is "considerably more" than the original
         estimate of $322.7M, but officials cite the rising land cost
         as one reason for the increase.  The bonds will be paid off
         by a half-cent county sales tax increase (CINCINNATI
         ENQUIRER, 5/20).  May reported yesterday that "even with the
         favorable interest rates," documents show that interest
         payments will total more than $353M over the 30-year debt. 
         Combined interest for the $273M in bonds sold Tuesday and
         the $71.6M bond issue in January "brings the total cost of
         the project," including the stadium complex plus financing
         costs, to more than $753M.  Hamilton County Commissioner Bob
         Bedinghaus "stressed" that the cost of the $400.3M football
         complex hasn't changed and said that county officials "plan
         to pay off the debt early" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/21).

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Facilities

              Boston city officials "downplayed" a report on "Inside
         Edition" about food safety violations at Fenway Park. 
         Inspectional Services Department's John Eade: "We're in the
         (television rating) sweeps.  That's their story.  I don't
         want to respond to that."  Aramark President of Stadiums and
         Arenas John Pistone said the company will offer "additional
         training" to employees (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/22)....Dallas
         officials "are putting final touches" on a plan to lease the
         Cotton Bowl to "a private group of business leaders that
         intends to dome" the stadium (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/22).
         ...Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke is asking City Council to
         approve a $450,000 study "to examine potential sites and the
         economic benefits" of building a newer, larger Baltimore
         Arena (Baltimore SUN, 5/22)....In Denver, the stadium board
         "recommended tearing down McNichols Sports Arena to make way
         for a new Broncos stadium."  Final decision is up to the
         Denver City Council (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 5/22)....With no
         roof at Olympic Stadium, the temperature at the Expos' game
         yesterday "was around" 15 degrees with a "brisk wind."  The
         announced crowd was 7,601, but there were "fewer than 1,000
         on hand" for the last two innings (GAZETTE, 5/22). 

    Print | Tags: Aramark, Denver Broncos, Facilities
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