SBD/19/Facilities Venues

STICKER SHOCK: DODGERS SCRAP LUXURY SUITES IN '99 DUE TO $$

          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).

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