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Volume 24 No. 159

Facilities Venues

     Bloomington, MN's Metropolitan Sports Center, longtime home
to the former-Minnesota North Stars, was scheduled for demolition
this morning.  The building was built in 1967  for the NHL's
North Stars inaugural year in the Twin Cities, but was "doomed"
after the North Stars 1993 move to Dallas and the construction of
the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.  The land around the
building, adjacent to the Mall of America, will be used for
parking in the short term, but there is speculation the site
could someday be used for another "shopping complex or a massive
hotel" (Jerry Zgoda, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 12/12).

     Sports facility architects, HOK Inc., should submit its
reports on possible renovations to Tampa Stadium by the end of
the week.  Tampa Sports Authority Director Rick Nafe said the
report won't include cost estimates for "each of six renovation
options designed to add 40 luxury boxes and up to 10,000 club
seats in the stadium."  The Authority is limited in what it can
pay HOK, and the firm says they were unable to produce actual
cost estimates without charging more (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 12/13).
          LIGHTNING FACE "WATERHSED WEEK":  Lightning officials
"are scurrying to get financing in place so the team doesn't miss
opening the 1996 hockey season in its new home," according to a
report in this morning's TAMPA TRIBUNE.  The team "should get
some help" on Thursday when Tampa City Council members vote on
whether to extend for the second time a deadline to secure
financing for the $120M project.  The original deadline was
pushed back to December 31.  Council members will decide wheter
to extend it further to April 30.  Lightning attorney Stephen
Pankau:  "This should be a watershed week.  We expect to hear
from bond insurers and private lenders" (Ken Koehn, TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 12/13).