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Volume 24 No. 132

Facilities Venues

     The IHL Atlanta Knights, after "abandoning plans to
construct their own Alpharetta arena," will "react to whatever
decision is reached by the Hawks on a new playing facility."  The
Knights let their option lapse on land in Alpharetta after having
"misgivings about the viability of a costly NHL franchise,
ballooning construction costs and uncertainly of securing a
second tenant."  With that, Knights president Richard Adler
"forfeited his right to block Turner Broadcasting or anyone else
from importing an NHL team."  The Knights are currently
negotiating a two-year lease extension to keep them in the Omni
through '99.  Hawks Exec VP Lee Douglas said they haven't
addressed what form hockey will play in a new facility.  Douglas:
"We certainly envision hockey being a part of it, whether it's
the IHL, NHL or what" (Joe Strauss, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/20).

     Leaders of The Parti Quebecois, recent winners in Quebec's
provincial elections, have decided to delay plans to give Olympic
Stadium a new roof.  Quebec Tourism Minister Rita Dionne-
Marsolais said she wants to wait "at least a couple of weeks to
re-examine the plans to spend $57.2M to replace the worn Kevlar
roof with a new steel structure."  The idea to replace the once-
retractable roof with a fixed-steel structure was given the go-
ahead by the previous Liberal government in May '93, but threats
of cost increases and the notion that the stadium is not an
appropriate site for the Expos have put the project in jeopardy.
Dionne-Marsolais: "They are telling us now its going to cost
about $50M.  I don't want to find out next year that it's going
to cost $100M or $110M" (Richard Mackie, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
10/20).  An editorial in this morning's MONTREAL GAZETTE suggests
Dionne-Marsolais delay the project until questions of the new
roof's safety, cost-overruns, and the Expos' intentions of
staying are answered.  The Expos commissioned a feasibility study
for a new downtown stadium a few months ago and team minority
owner Mark Routtenberg said there had been suggestions that a new
stadium with a retractable roof could be built for less than
$170M --  but "government and private-sector money would be
needed."  The GAZETTE: "Perhaps it is time for Quebec to think
seriously about cutting its losses (already well over $1 billion)
and get rid of the Big O" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 10/21).