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NC State Univ. "has come through" with $5M in financing for cost-overruns at the Raleigh arena, "breaking a financing impasse and giving the arena authority leverage to press" the Hurricanes for $14M to help finish the job, according to Eisley & Alexander of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. To complete the funding for the arena's estimated $26M overrun, the Centennial Authority also would seek a $7M bank loan. The Hurricanes last month offered $5M, but authority and team reps plan to meet today to discuss a proposal where the 'Canes would give more, "which the team greeted cooly." Gale Force Holdings President Dean Jordan: "We said we'd contribute $5 million, so we're a little disappointed they would ask for more." Jordan said the team "will have to take a hard look" at the request. Without financing, authority members said that the arena will not be ready for the Hurricanes' scheduled '99-2000 start date, which would mean the would play a third season at the Greensboro Coliseum. Jordan: "We're almost at the point where we might have to plan on staying in Greensboro another year. If we have to come up with $14 million with no way to get our money back, we'll have to analyze it and see if we'd be better off in Greensboro." The team lost "more than" $30M in its first season there (NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/19).
SUITE-NESS: In Baltimore, Jon Morgan reports that six Ravens players "are considering or have leased suites" at the team's new stadium, either by themselves or in combination with others. The suites would be used by the players' families and friends during games. Orioles 3B Cal Ripken also has a suite. Ravens VP/Sales & Marketing David Cope said that he was "surprised" to find a ready market among the players. Some players have businesses that allow them to take off suite expenses on taxes. Ripken's suite is leased to his corporation, and Ravens WR Michael Jackson has a recording company in town (Baltimore SUN, 8/19). NOTES: NFL Giants co-Owner Robert Tisch "plans to send his plan for a new arena at the Meadowlands for the Nets and Devils" to NJ Gov. Christie Whitman next month. Tisch said that Continental Airlines Arena is not "fair to the two teams playing there" (AP/Bergen RECORD, 8/18)....Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, on if the team hits 3 million in attendance this season: "I want to make this very clear. I never said I would stay [at Yankees Stadium] if we made 3 million. What I have always said is that if we make 3 million, I would sit down and talk to [Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer]" (N.Y. POST, 8/19)....IMG "is planning to spend up to" $30M "to help build the largest tennis facility in the world" near Indian Wells, CA. The $60M entertainment and tennis center, to be built in conjunction with a group headed by Indian Wells Tournament Dir Charlie Pasarell, would have a seating capacity of up to 35,000 (Daniel Kaplan, SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/17).
The cost of adding luxury suites to Dodger Stadium "is much higher than the Dodgers expected and could put the project in jeopardy or eventually cause the club to weigh renovating" its ballpark against building a new one, according to Kuwada & Kingsley of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The team "thought" luxury suites and other enhancements could be completed before next season, helping offset a player payroll that has gone from $47M to $61M this season, but development and construction costs "could run as high as" $200M. As a result, Dodgers President Bob Graziano said that the team will not add 60-75 planned luxury suites before next season. He added that, "For next year, we're going to have to take a look at an increase in sponsorship, an increase in media income. ... We don't have luxury suites, we don't have much signage inside our stadium and relatively low ticket prices, yet we have the sixth-highest payroll in baseball." Graziano, asked if the team could do without luxury suites: "It's possible, but unlikely I'd say." Asked about replacing Dodger Stadium, he said, "We have not started evaluating that yet" (O.C. REGISTER, 8/18).