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Volume 24 No. 155
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     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
TRIBUNE, 10/11).