SBJ/March 26 - April 1, 2001/Facilities

FACILITIES BRIEFS

 Big 12 pays $12 each

The Big 12 Conference, which paid $50,000 to use Kemper Arena and Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City for its men's and women's tournaments in the first three years of the conference's existence, now pays just $12 for each of the sites. But Kansas City leaders still expect to make $250,000 from the tourneys this year. The cut rate is part of Kansas City's campaign to keep the events after they return from Dallas in 2003 and 2004. The tourneys will be played in Kansas City in 2005, but no sites have been chosen for later years. The tournaments will remain in Kansas City for next year.

 Arena owners seek protection

The owners of Firstar Center in Cincinnati filed for bankruptcy protection while attempting to find new ownership for the 16,000-seat arena. An affiliate of Provident Bank, the center's largest creditor, has offered to buy the venue for $31 million. But because the center's owner, Cincinnati Entertainment Associates, owes $40 million, CEA officials decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while attempting to restructure the debt and find a new owner. The filing won't affect the operations of the center, which is home to the International Hockey League's Cincinnati Cyclones and International Basketball League's Cincinnati Stuff.

 Miami officials OK site

Miami city commissioners voted in favor of the Florida Marlins' using 20 acres on the northern bank of the Miami River for their planned $385 million stadium. Marlins executives said they are happy with the choice, although the location is one that team executives repeatedly called unacceptable until recently. The first choice of team executives did not garner the necessary public support for the project to proceed at that site.

 Twin Cities' town meetings

The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission in Minnesota kicked off a series of town meetings aimed at getting resident input on stadium options for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. The sessions were requested by Gov. Jesse Ventura. The teams are seeking to move from their shared Metrodome home to new stadiums.

 Illinois project at standstill

Construction has stopped on a minor league baseball stadium near St. Louis because of difficulty completing a financing package. Collinsville (Ill.) Convention Authority officials said they do not know when construction will resume on the Gateway Grizzlies' planned stadium. Grizzlies officials said they will continue to work with the city to finance a $6 million, 4,500-seat stadium. The team has been forced to look at an alternative site for the 2001 season while the project is on hold.

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