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              The "lack of hard facts" on how the City of San Diego
         will contribute $225M toward the Padres ballpark "makes it
         virtually impossible to assess the project's financial
         risks," according to the city's Task Force on Ballpark
         Planning Chair Pat Shea, who added that the "information
         vacuum threatens to erode public confidence in the project." 
         The SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE's Philip LaVelle writes that the
         $225M would be raised by issuing bonds to be repaid by the
         city's hotel-room tax, but what's "not clear is exactly how
         the project would cut into the hotel-tax revenue stream." 
         It is "likely -- but not committed to any document the
         public has seen -- that most of it would come from new
         revenues produced by hotels not yet built."  Also unknown is
         what portion of these revenues would be taken from the 200
         or so civic programs that "rely" on the tax.  Those
         decisions are up to S.D. Mayor Susan Golding and the City
         Council, which will meet again today to discuss the details
         (UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/17).  In addition, two county supervisors
         say Golding "has misled the public by stating the current"
         ballpark proposal "lacks only" $21M in additional funding,
         and that the funding gap is much larger.  Golding's
         spokesperson Mary Anne Pintar called the allegations
         "totally outrageous" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/17).
              WORK TO DO: In examining the team's agreement with the
         city, business writer Philip LaVelle wrote that while the
         Padres want to place the measure on the November 3 ballot, a
         "lack of hotel industry participation in the pro-ballpark
         campaign would be a glaring absence in the coalition the
         Padres hope to form."  In addition, the team and Golding
         "will have to answer" why "so much public investment" should
         go toward the project (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/16).  

    Print | Tags: Facilities, San Diego Padres

              In Toronto, work on the Air Canada Centre "ground to a
         halt" Wednesday, when construction workers honored a picket
         line by striking crane operators.  The strike isn't expected
         to affect the arena's opening (TORONTO STAR, 7/16)....Scott
         Clark, President of Clark Companies, a design and
         construction firm which specializes in athletic fields,
         estimates that the installation of a grass field at Giants
         Stadium will cost $2.5-3M, plus $400,000 to $500,000 a year
         in upkeep.  Giants Stadium is the "first and only testing
         ground" for Clark's new system and Clark's work at the
         Meadowlands is profiled in today's N.Y. POST and N.Y. DAILY
         NEWS (7/17)....The St. Petersburg City Council approved the
         spending of $200,500 in "unexpected" costs for renovations to
         Tropicana Field.  The Devil Rays will split the bill, which
         was for work necessary to ensure the stadium being ready for
         the team's inaugural game in March 31 (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 7/17).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, PepsiCo, Tampa Bay Rays

              MA House Speaker Thomas Finneran said yesterday that
         the Patriots "must choose between the House's version of a
         bill to help the team rebuild Foxboro Stadium or no state
         aid at all," according to Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. 
         Finneran said that he "still opposed" the Senate's version
         of the stadium bill, which "is more generous" to team Owner
         Robert Kraft than the House version.  Finneran added that he
         "would reject any attempt to have the House vote" on the
         Senate bill.  A Patriots spokesperson declined comment. The
         House bill, passed last fall, authorizes $50M in state funds
         for improvements to roads, light and other infrastructure
         around Foxboro and Kraft, in return, would refurbish the
         stadium.  Unlike the Senate version, the House bill "did not
         include funds to purchase the land and lease it back to
         Kraft."  The MA session ends July 31, and if no action is
         taken, the bills "automatically die" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/17).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, New England Patriots
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