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Volume 24 No. 156

Facilities Venues

     Tampa Bay Lightning Governor David LeFevre announced IN-
based Huber, Hunt & Nichols Inc., which built the ThunderDome,
Chicago's United Center, and Anaheim's Arrowhead Pond has been
contracted to build the team's new downtown arena by fall '95.
Architect Ellerbe Becket Inc. said it is likely the Lightning
will play in the ThunderDome next season since construction will
run 15-17 months.  But Tampa official Bob Leighton said the team
has not contacted the city about extending its lease (TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 9/15).

     King County officials switched contractors for the Kingdome
repair project yesterday.  Seattle's Pacific Components Inc. is
being replaced by MN-based M.A. Mortenson Co., which already
leads $246.4M in county contracts.  Pacific Components President
Don Mar was "disappointed" to lose the $32.5M project but said
his company did not have the "bonding capacity" for a project of
this size.  Kingdome repair project spokesperson Kathy Bunnell
Johnson said the general contractor was switched because of a
"change in the scope of the work and an earlier deadline."  Bids
were also opened yesterday for the roof resurfacing portion of
the project and four companies are being considered in the next
few days (George Foster, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 9/15).
     NCAA PASSES THROUGH:  NCAA men's championship director Bill
Hancock announced that plans for the Final Four at the Kingdome
remain on schedule for next April following a tour of the dome
Tuesday (Bill Knight, POST-INTELLIGENCER, 9/14).

     This morning's VANCOUVER SUN reports the Griffiths/ McCaw
group now owns the C$163M "GM Place," set to open in September
'95, which will house the group's NBA expansion franchise, the
Grizzlies.  The Griffiths/McCaw group bought the complex by
purchasing remaining shares of Northwest Arena Corp for
C$100/share.  But Primex Investments President Art Rennison is
resisting the share transfer, as he said he wants "proportionate
ownership" for his 10% of Northwest Arena Corp.  Rennison is
accusing Arthur Griffiths of "co-opting the arena and the
basketball franchise from Northwest shareholders."  Rennison also
said Primex's lawyers are sending a letter to Northwest's parent
company, Northwest Sports Enterprises, asking them to recover the
team and arena.  If the letter fails, Rennison said he will go
British Columbia Supreme Court to "order them to recover the
assets."  Griffiths has said he is negotiating with some new
investors who the NBA has asked him not to identify (David
Baines, VANCOUVER SUN, 9/15).

     The GAO is "skeptical" of DC's ability to fund $16M in
preliminary studies for construction of a downtown convention
center/arena.  House District Committee Chair Pete Stark (D-CA)
requested two studies, to be released today, which identify no
problems that prevent the city from eventually moving forward
with the plans but question the financially-strapped District's
resources for environmental, engineering and architectural
studies.  The city's plans depend on Congress changing DC's Home
Rule Charter to allow specification of tax revenues.  Mayor
Sharon Pratt Kelly's legal counsel, Claude Bailey, said city
officials are confident that the plans are "financeable and
viable."  But Kelly lost her Democratic primary Tuesday and might
find her proposal "virtually shelved" by Marion Barry or
Independent Bill Lightfoot (Vise & Henderson, WASHINGTON POST,
9/15).
     WAITING IN THE WINGS:  BET President Robert Johnson, who is
assembling a privately funded arena counterproposal, said his
confidence was "bolstered" by GAO findings and believes "this
deal ought to be in the private sector."   Johnson will formally
present his proposal October 15 which will depend on negotiations
with Bullets and Capitals owner Able Pollin over lease terms
(WASHINGTON POST, 9/15).