U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
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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).
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).
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).