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The city of Phoenix unveiled a plan to give America West Arena a $12M upgrade, making it "one of the biggest hockey arenas in the NHL," although the Coyotes may still relocate to Scottsdale, according to Chris Fiscus of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The renovation, which could be completed "by the end of summer 2000," would give the arena 17,500 seats with "clear views for hockey and arena football." In addition to the remaining 2,500 "or so 'obstructed-view'" seats, America West's capacity would increase to over 20,000. The arena currently holds 16,210 for hockey -- though less than 12,000 offer unobstructed views -- and 19,023 for basketball, seating that would "remain essentially the same." Also, the Coyotes would receive access to all suites for their home games beginning in the 2000-01 season. Seven existing suites are currently unavailable to the team. Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza said that the $12M could be paid from existing arena funds, although the use of those funds and the renovation plan must still be approved by the Phoenix City Council. City officials said the city would still go through with the renovations despite the Coyotes' insistence on relocating to a new facility in Scottsdale (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/12).
A day after the Nets unveiled their plans to build a sports and entertainment complex in Newark, Devils Owner John McMullen gave NJ Gov. Christie Whitman his proposal for "the same kind" of complex at an historic train terminal in Hoboken, according to Doug Most of the Bergen RECORD. However, the Whitman administration responded by sending letters to both teams "saying their proposals were inadequate and asking for more details to help officials make a decision." McMullen is pushing for a $350M "Hoboken Station" that would be "anchored" by an 18,500-seat arena and "complemented" by retail stores, restaurants and a movie theater. The arena would include 100 luxury boxes, 3,000 club seats, theme restaurants and team shops. The Devils' plan "relies on less public money than the Nets' plan," and both come days before the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority is to release a state-ordered five-month study on the future of the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford. But Whitman spokesperson Pete McDonough stressed one sports complex: "I think the state will be expressing to the teams that a dual-sports arena is the only thing that makes sense to us right now. We will need to convince the teams to stick together in one of three locations" (RECORD, 3/12). McMullen will finance $200M of his project, with only $30M coming in public funds (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/12).
The parent company of England's Wembley Stadium voted to sell the facility to the English National Stadium Development Company for $171M. SFX and British sports entertainment group Enic had also been trying to buy the stadium (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/12)....In Atlanta, Henry Unger notes in a progress report on Philips Arena that about half of the 1,800 club seat season-tickets at the arena have been sold for either $8,000 or $9,500 each (CONSTITUTION, 3/12).
Donald Trump and ISC have "agreed to explore" building a NASCAR race track on Long Island, according to Rick Westhead of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The agreement will be announced at a press conference today. Yesterday, shares in ISC rose 2 5/16 to a "record" 48 1/2 in trading of 184,000, "more than twice their three-month daily average of about 66,000" (BLOOMBERG, 3/11). Trump recently bid $55M for a site on Long Island,where he has proposed building a NASCAR speedway. Trump had been asked by local officials to "show that he had a track partner before the town would begin negotiations to sell the 2,900-acre site" (NEWSDAY, 3/12).