SBD/January 28, 2011/Facilities

Facility Notes

County is willing to consider using tourist tax dollars for St. Pete Times Forum renovations
In St. Petersburg, Bill Varian notes a “majority” of Hillsborough County (Fla.) commissioners said that they are "willing to consider freeing up future tourist tax dollars to pay for renovations" to St. Pete Times Forum. Five commissioners reached for comment Thursday “noted the importance of the Times Forum as a tourist and entertainment draw,” and added that as a “publicly owned venue, it needs to be kept in good shape.” Varian writes a “common theme among them was noting” that the Lightning, whose parent company, Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, leases and runs the building, are “willing to front the money without making any demands” (ST. PETE TIMES, 1/28).

TAX DECLINE: In Green Bay, Richard Ryman writes January sales tax distributions -- representing November sales -- were “a disappointment to the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District.” Sales taxes came in at $1.59M for January, compared with $1.64M in January '10 and $1.66M in December. The district “had been hoping that sales taxes for 2010 would equal those for 2009,” but so far, '10 taxes are “about 1 percent less” (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 1/28).

GOVERNMENTAL REVIEW: The GLOBE & MAIL’s Bill Curry reports the Canadian government is “confirming its willingness to fund an NHL-calibre arena in Quebec City but says it wants a clear accounting of private-sector involvement.” The Quebec City government said that it “will spend the next six to nine months studying the accuracy of its [C]$400-million price estimate for the new facility.” Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume recently said that he had “written off support from the federal government and was moving on to ‘Plan B’” (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/28).

360 VIEW: In St. Louis, Tim Bryant notes “full construction is scheduled to begin next week” on Three Sixty, a rooftop bar at the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark. The $7M, 275-lounge will feature views of Busch Stadium from "atop the hotel's 25-story east tower at Market Street and Broadway, two blocks north" of the ballpark. The hotel hopes to open the bar by July 1 (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/28).
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