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TIGER LAND: In Detroit, Joe Falls writes on the difficulty that Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch is having on completing the financing of the Tigers' new ballpark: "The consortium of 14 U.S. banks backed out of the deal, and now the financiers from Japan still haven't given Ilitch the money. This should tell you something about the financial structure of the Ilitch empire, which should tell you something about the sad state of the baseball team" (DETROIT NEWS, 8/13). The Tigers will post clips of construction at their new ballpark on www.detroittigers.com (Tigers). NOTES: The Lakers and NHL Kings announced their intent to build a combined practice facility in El Segundo, CA. Naming rights to the $15M, 120,000-square-foot complex will be sold (L.A. TIMES, 8/12)....Attorneys for the NFL Cardinals and the Rio Salado Crossing District met yesterday and will meet again today "in hopes of reaching a preliminary agreement" before the Mesa City Council makes its decision whether to put the stadium measure on the November ballot (AZ REPUBLIC, 8/13)....The Padres proposed ballpark measure will appear as Proposition C on the November ballot. Politicians and consultants say that being first on the ballot "is best because it gives backers first shot at voters' attention" (S.D. UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/12).
The Spurs unveiled plans Wednesday for a $150M arena in the "abandoned Longhorn Quarry that could be open for games by 2001," according to Poling & Anderson of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Spurs Chair Peter Holt and Quarry developer Bitterblue "called the proposition the best for the Spurs and the city" during a meeting with the Express-News. But Holt said the team is not threatening to leave the city: "If this didn't work would we leave the city? That isn't our plan. ... The ownership is going to be patient." The Spurs would manage the arena which would be owned by the city, county and the North East School District. Construction could start as early as next summer. Under the Spurs/Bitterblue plans, "a Tax Increment Finance board would sell bonds to pay for constructing the arena." Bonds would be paid for from property taxes on new development in a reinvestment zone near the San Antonio airport. San Antonio Mayor Howard Peak supports the plan and adds, "We want to move forward rapidly on this." The proposal now goes to the city council (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 8/13). INSIDE THE HOME: Architectural designs by Ellerbe Beckett call for the arena to be split into 2,500 premium seats and 16,000 general seats. It would be divided into five levels (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 8/13).