Raptors officials are altering designs for the new stadium
to include 1,000 more seats for basketball and make room for the
possible acquisition of the Maple Leafs. Raptors stadium project
director Jay Cross called it "a streamlined design." Maple Leaf
Gardens is considered too small for NBA basketball and Raptors VP
Tom Mayenknecht noted "the asset is the hockey team, not
necessarily the building." Also, an industry source has
indicated the Raptors have a deadline at the end of this month to
resolve negotiations with the proposed stadium site's new owners.
Mayenknecht's response: "We're interested in proceeding with the
task at hand. We're preparing for construction next summer"
(Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 9/13).
K.C.-based stadium architecture firm, HOK Sport, unveiled
its Riverfront Stadium renovation study yesterday. One option
reconfigures the baseball field to place home plate in the
outfield, build "unsymmetrical" outfield walls, 40 luxury boxes,
and possibly shrink the stadium capacity from 55,000 to 45,000 in
order to offer "made-for-TV panoramic views" of the city skyline,
a picnic section, permanent dugouts, and a stadium club that
resembles the one at Cleveland's Jacobs Field. HOK's football
plan suggests lowering the field and adding more seats, including
23 enclosed luxury suites and 2,500 clubs seats available for a
$1,500 "down payment." Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls said the
two plans can be chosen according to the "concept which is more
financially acceptable to the teams." The study was paid for by
Reds CEO and owner Marge Schott and her advisers, attorney Stan
Chesley and Turfway Park owner Jerry Carroll (Richard Green,
CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/13).
THEIR NEW KENTUCKY HOME? In a related column, Mark Purdy
calls the study an important time- and money-saving piece for the
city's stadium task force even if, as Stan Chesley said at
yesterday's presentation, none of the individuals involved are
"in the position to buy the stadium." Purdy suggests the city
decide "as regional public policy" that Riverfront will be
remodeled for either the Reds or Bengals and a new stadium will
be built for the team not chosen. Purdy notes a cheaper option
is to build a new stadium in KY near Turfway Park for the team
moving out of Riverfront (Mark Purdy, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/13).