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STRANGE BREW: MORE TALK OF JAYS LEAVING SKYDOME FOR THE EX
Published November 2, 1998
The Blue Jays described their current SkyDome lease as "the worst" in MLB and "so onerous" that they are looking into "the possibility of playing" the '99 and 2000 seasons at Exhibition Stadium, according to Michael Grange of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Allan Chapin, a spokesperson for team Owner Interbrew, said that the team has lost C$100M since the World Series in '93 and that the team "will not be exercising our option to renew our [SkyDome] lease" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/31). In Toronto, Gayle MacDonald wrote that the Jays moving "could be a fatal blow" for the SkyDome, which is "bracing for up to a" C$3.1M loss and faces "the arduous task of persuading corporate box holders, who pay [C]$100,000 to [C]$250,000 a year, to renew 10-year SkyBox leases that expire" next December. Interbrew's threat also comes amid rumors that the SkyDome "may file for court protection from its creditors," an accusation a SkyDome spokesperson "strenuously denied." One source said that Interbrew is "likely seeking relief" in rent, a share in revenue from luxury boxes and lower cost for retail space and stadium services (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/31). The SkyDome has reportedly missed one month's worth of municipal tax payments of C$600,000 (TORONTO STAR, 10/31). EX MARKS THE SPOT? Exhibition Place Chair Joe Pantalone received a non-refundable C$50,000 check from the team to delay demolition of the site, which is set for December 1. The Ex is currently "without a playing surface and ... in the process of having its seats removed." Pantalone said that the Jays "would be expected to pay the full cost of refurbishing the ballpark" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/31).