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  • CAROLINA BLUES: BEAVER "DISAPPOINTED" AS VOTERS REJECT TAX

              Voters in the NC Triad area yesterday "hollered a loud
         'No!' to a tax to build a baseball stadium," according to
         Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  The
         "resounding" defeat in both Guilford and Forsyth counties
         "leaves the Twins with no place to go for now, pushes nearby
         Charlotte into line as the next possible site for a Twins
         move and increases the prospect that the team may have to
         play in the Metrodome for the 1999 season."  Twins Owner
         Carl Pohlad, after the ballpark defeat: "I don't know what
         we're going to do.  We'll regroup.  We're going to consider
         all alternatives.  We know Charlotte wants the team, and
         we'll go from there" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/6).  
              THE VOTE: The initiative, which included a 1% sales tax
         increase on prepared food and a $.50 ticket surcharge, was
         soundly defeated in both counties, losing in Guilford by a
         margin of 67.2% to 32.8%, and in Forsyth by a margin of
         59.2% to 40.8%.  The referendum drew a "strong" turnout rate
         of 32% in Guilford County (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 5/6).
              THE DON SPEAKS: In Winston-Salem, David Rice reports
         that prospective Twins Owner Don Beaver was "disappointed"
         by the results, but "made it clear that he will look
         elsewhere in the state -- presumably Charlotte -- to find a
         home for a team."  Beaver: "I think this vote means baseball
         won't be coming to the Triad area.  That makes me very sad." 
         Beaver added that the outcome "won't affect" his
         negotiations with Pohlad.  Rice reports that while Beaver
         "did not make a definite commitment last night to make
         Charlotte the team's permanent home," he did "made it clear"
         that public money would "be required" for a Charlotte
         ballpark to "demonstrate that city's commitment to a team." 
         Beaver: "You need public money in baseball.  Charlotte's not
         any different" (David Rice, WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 5/6).
              WHAT WENT WRONG? In Winston-Salem, Scott Maxwell writes
         that although stadium proponents outspent opponents 28-1,
         the opposition "had a campaign strategy that resounded with
         voters and was easy to follow."  UNC-Greensboro
         Communications Professor Craig Allen Smith said that park
         supporters' "biggest flaw" was that they "simplified their
         effort down to one issue: asking residents to 'Vote yes' if
         they support baseball."  Smith said that instead of focusing
         on that one theme, the "Vote Yes For Baseball" group "should
         have touted the nonbaseball benefits that a stadium would
         have provided."  Vote Yes organizer Walt Klein: "I don't
         think there's any one thing you can put your finger on when
         your side of the issue gets beat as heavily as we did"
         (Scott Maxwell, WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 5/6).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Minnesota Twins, R J Reynolds
  • FACILITY NOTES

              NJ Gov. Christie Whitman yesterday put her state "back
         in the hunt for Yankee Stadium."  Whitman said that her
         administration will "help prepare a plan for moving the
         Yankees" to NJ if Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner's "soon-
         to-be-named advisory panel requests it."  However, Whitman
         "repeated her promise" not to offer the team any benefits
         not offered to "all employers who move jobs to New Jersey." 
         (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/6)....MA-based Arnold Communications has
         developed a pro bono advocacy campaign for the Save Fenway
         Park organization.  The effort will include TV, radio and
         print ads, along with other material.  TV spots feature
         interviews with Yankees fans in NYC on why Fenway is
         special, while print ads focus on the park's history
         (ADWEEK, 5/4)....In Houston, Dale Robertson writes that IHL
         Aeros Owner/Compaq Center manager Chuck Watson's decision to
         pull out of his NFL partnership with Bob McNair "bodes
         badly" for any compromise solution regarding the Rockets'
         Compaq Center lease.  Now removed from the football mix,
         Watson will be "disinclined to discuss football stadium tax
         breaks as a tradeoff for [Rockets Owner Les] Alexander's
         lease becoming less airtight" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/6).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, hp, Houston Rockets, New York Yankees, NFL, YankeeNets
  • IN FRONT OF PARLIAMENT, BROCHU "HINTS" AT GOV'T ASSISTANCE

              Expos President Claude Brochu told a House of Commons
         subcommittee yesterday that the team would need financial
         assistance in funding a $250M facility or the team may have
         to be sold to U.S. interests, according to Wills, Myles &
         Clark of the Montreal GAZETTE.  Brochu said that after $100M
         is raised from local corporations, the remaining $150M
         "required for construction requires the involvement of
         government in a yet-to-be determined form."  Wills, Myles &
         Clark write that "most" committee members "appeared
         sympathetic" to Brochu's request.  Brochu added that funding
         would have to be in place by June.  Later, Brochu said, "By
         the year 2002, we expect the (players') salaries to double. 
         We know this is something very frustrating, but this is
         something you have to live with."  Brochu: "We are willing
         to assume the risk and stay in Montreal, but there have to
         be certain conditions."  Wills, Myles & Clark report that
         while members of the committee "gave Brochu tentative
         assurances of tax breaks, they have only the power to
         recommend" (GAZETTE, 5/6).  Afterward Brochu told reporters:
         "It has nothing to do with subsidy.  It has everything to do
         with investment" (Bruce Cheadle, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/6).
    
    

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  • SPURS OFFICIALS MEET WITH BITTERBLUE EXECS TO DISCUSS ARENA

              The Spurs' plan for a new arena on a Northeast Side of
         the city is "not winning strong support from City Hall,"
         according to Williams & Anderson of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-
         NEWS.  Yesterday it was reported that team officials were
         eyeing a proposed arena at Longhorn quarry and were hoping
         for city support by the end of the year.  But on Tuesday,
         Spurs Chair Peter Holt said, "We have a long way to go. ...
         This 'by the end of the year' stuff is ... what I want to
         emphasize is, that we're here to stay.  We're in no rush"
         (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 5/6).  Yesterday, Travis Poling
         reported that Holt and other team execs met with Bitterblue
         Inc. principals Gene Powell and Laddie Denton on Monday to
         discuss the proposed site, which would have an arena be "a
         city-owned facility paid for by tax increment financing
         backed bonds."  Poling wrote that the project still has
         "many hurdles to clear," including City Council approval to
         establish a reinvestment zone and the financing mechanism"
         (Travis Poling, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 5/5).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: Facilities, San Antonio Spurs
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