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Ideal Steel, a Hispanic-owned company with manufacturing facilities in Detroit, has been awarded the contract to provide steel columns and beams for the new Tiger Stadium (DETROIT NEWS, 5/8)....Turf troubles at Giants Stadium's are examined by Bill Pennington on the front-page of the N.Y. TIMES, who calls the story a tale "of machine malfunctions, of a stadium trying to satisfy two professional football teams and a soccer franchise and in the process balance demands of soccer purists and pro football pragmatists" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/8)....The NFL Cardinals, looking for investors in a new stadium, have approached the Fort McDowell-Mohave-Apache Indian Community to see whether the tribe is interested in investing in the planned $650M stadium (AZ REPUBLIC, 5/8). ...The Bears have confirmed that if their new stadium is built in the suburbs, the bill "almost certainly would have to be footed privately." In a statement yesterday, the team confirmed that they are in talks with Elk Grove Village, outside of the city (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/8). Jay Leno, on a new Bears stadium: "They say it's so expensive, they're looking for ways to cut costs. I say, why install the end zones? The Bears never use them anyway" (NBC, 5/7).
The Ravens are "still weeks, possibly months away from finalizing" a naming rights deal for their new stadium, according to Jon Morgan of the Baltimore SUN. Sprint, AT&T, AOL, Erol's Internet Service, Bell Atlantic, Cellular One and Comcast are among the companies whom the team has held talks with, and of those, "several" said the "price was too high" or that they "were not interested," while "a few" remain prospects. The team has hired ProServ to help in the sale and they are "still approaching" other companies. So far, Sprint, USAirways and MD-based Black & Decker Corp. have decided not to pursue the rights, while AT&T and Erol's have "so far declined, although sources say [they] remain in touch with the team." The Bonham Group President Dean Bonham said that the Ravens' naming rights "could go for" $1.5M-$2M a year (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 5/8). BIG BUCS: In Tampa, Pat Yasinskas reports that Bucs execs "have been talking for several weeks" with reps from TECO Energy Inc., the parent company of Tampa Electric Co., about naming rights for the team's new stadium. The Bucs "have also been talking" with Tampa-based telephone/Internet services company Intermedia and "several other corporations" since talks with TruGreen-ChemLawn "hit a snag" last month. While the team "appeared close to a deal" with TruGreen- ChemLawn in early March, at a price "believed to be about" $2M a year, sources said the price "took a significant jump" after the NFL schedule featured the Bucs playing three nationally televised games (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/8).