A special express train to the Tacoma Dome "rolled closer to
reality" after a U.S. District Judge approved a distribution
formula for a $112M settlement in favor of four western states,
including WA. $1.5M of the settlement will be used for the
"Sonic Express" carrying fans between Tacoma and Seattle for
Sonics games and other events at the Dome (SEATTLE POST-
TASK FORCE UPDATE: The Seattle Task Force on Stadium
Alternatives showed the "first sign of contention" in meetings
debating the necessity of a retractable roof for a new Mariners
facility. Mariners VP Paul Isaki said the roof is "necessary for
a stadium to be successful." Estimated costs "start at" $230M,
with a retractable roof adding $35-45M. Task Force member Chuck
Collins believes the roof should be paid for by the team since it
wasn't "part of the basic stadium plan." The Task Force final
report is "at least" a month away and Chair Pat Steel says any
recommendation also will "have to consider the costs" of Kingdome
renovations (David Schaefer, SEATTLE TIMES, 10/7).
ROCKETS GLARE AT RED INK: The city of Tacoma and the WHL
Tacoma Rockets may be close to a deal that "could result in some
relief" for the team in terms of its lease with the Tacoma Dome.
The Rockets have lost sponsorship revenue as a result of the
SuperSonics coming to the dome in '94-'95. Rockets President
Bruce Hamilton has sought help for this season only, and said
that dome officials are "going to help us recoup" in other areas,
notably concessions and parking (John Lawrence, Tacoma NEWS
Cable TV entrepreneur Christopher Cohan's purchase of the
Warriors last weekend renewed discussion of a proposed
entertainment district in San Francisco to include a basketball
arena and a new Giants ballpark. Giants Exec VP Larry Baer said
the plan won't be revealed for six months to a year, since the
Warriors' participation is "up in the air." The Giants will
continue "with or without the Warriors," but Baer said the two
teams would make a "powerful combination." Jim Lazurus,
stadium/arena point man for S.F. Mayor Frank Jordan, will try to
meet with Cohan this week. Lazarus said while there's a "good
chance" the complex will be built without the Warriors, another
arena makes it "stronger." The "city within The City" plan also
calls for music and TV studios and virtual reality exhibits.
Baer promised as much private financing "as possible" (Stone &
Tanaka, S.F. EXAMINER, 10/12).
OAKLAND REBUTTAL: Oakland officials are rallying to keep
the Warriors by presenting an arena plan near the Coliseum.
Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris "said he was certain the team" would
stay, and Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum President George
Vukasin plans to meet with Cohan "soon." (Stone & Tanaka, S.F.
EXAMINER, 10/12). Oakland's "shaky hold" on its pro sports teams
is becoming an issue in the mayoral election. Harris'
challenger, Ted Dang, said he would "pay close personal
attention" to the Warrior and the A's, calling the Warriors a
"thriving business" and a "strong market" for bond financing
(S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/11). COHAN SPEAKS: Chris Cohan said he
has "absolutely no preconceived ideas" about where a new arena
should be built. Cohan added that his "top priority" is building
a new facility but he still does "not have all the information,
all the options" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/11).
Tigers owner Mike Ilitch said he will personally lobby MI
lawmakers to help finance a new baseball stadium. Ilitch: "I'll
do whatever is required." Ilitch said his proposal last spring
for a new stadium failed because it was thrust too suddenly on
the public. Ilitch said he was surprised by the "severity" of
the criticism directed at him during the stadium debate. He said
that this time, he will be better prepared: "I'll be ready to
deal with it like a political issue. Ilitch has gone outside his
public relations staffs at the Tigers and Little Caesars Pizza
and hired the firm Bassett & Bassett to promote the new stadium
proposal (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/12).
In a "major turnaround," the Raptors have cancelled their
plans to build a $100M, 20,500-seat arena at the Toronto site of
Bay and Dundas streets because the site is too small to hold a
multi-use arena. The facility was originally intended for only
the NBA team, but Raptors Presideent John Bitove said since then,
"things have happened ... and the economic impact of having a
hockey team in the building is dramatic." Bitove said the hockey
tenant could be the Maple Leafs, but also didn't rule out an IHL
team. "A source said Bitove has been approached by the IHL about
placing a team in his new building" (Christie & MacLeod, Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 10/12). The announcement set off new speculation
as to where the Raptors will play on a permanent basis -- and
with the team hoping to start construction next summer, "there
isn't much time." The Raptors are looking at two downtown sites
and two parcels elsewhere in the Metro area, though Bitove has
expressed his desire to stay in the city. The Raptors will open
at SkyDome in November '95, and plan on moving into their own
facility for '97-'98 (Jim Byers, TORONTO STAR, 10/12).
THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY has compiled information on the
NFL's stadiums and continues an occasional series of stadium
profiles today with Giants Stadium.
STADIUM: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
AGE: Completed in 1976.
Opening game October 10, 1976, Giants v. Dallas.
CAPACITY: 77,716 for the Jets; 78,136 for the Giants
LUXURY BOXES: 72 -- Controlled by the New Jersey Sports and
OWNERSHIP: State of New Jersey
MANAGEMENT: New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
COST: $10 million paid for by public bonds.
ADVERTISING: Handled by Exposition Authority. Annual revenue
of $7M. Giants/Jets get undisclosed percentage.
CONCESSIONS: Harry M. Stevens. Authority gets 35%, with
undisclosed percentage for Giants/Jets.
PARKING: 24,500 spots at $6 a car. Revenue is split
50/50 with the Giants -- Jets not available.
RENT: Not disclosed for Giants or Jets.
LEASE: Giants 2012, Jets 2008 with 10-year option.
(Sources: Bill Squires/Exposition Authority, Rusty Hawley/Giants)
The University of Utah has asked the state to approve a
$51.8M renovation project of Rice Stadium which would expand its
capacity from 32,500 to 50,000. The expansion would also allow
the "university to host the 2002 Winter Olympics opening and
closing ceremonies should the Games be awarded to Salt Lake next
June." If the Games don't go to UT, capacity would be cut to
42,000 (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 10/11).