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Volume 24 No. 115

Facilities Venues

     A front-page article in Sunday's Baltimore SUN chronicles
the city's continuing struggle to attract an NFL team.  The SUN's
Jon Morgan writes, "Baltimore has become a virtual Washington
suburb in the minds of some league demographers" (Baltimore SUN,
1/29).  Baltimore's ABC affiliate, WMAR, ran a promotion for the
station's Super Bowl pregame with the lead-in: "Maybe they can
stop us from having an NFL team, but they can't stop us from
bringing you 'Midday Over Miami,' Newschannel 2's Super Bowl
Special" (WMAR-TV, 1/28).  Baltimore-area state legislators are
hopeful to maintain money appropriated for a downtown football
stadium (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 1/30).
     MEANHILE, THE REDSKINS ARE GETTING CLOSER:  The Redskins
asked the Anne Arundel, MD, county board for a two month delay in
zoning hearings on their proposed stadium in Laurel, MD.
According to team lawyer Harry Blumenthal, the Redskins are
acquiring additional property around the site to accommodate
3,000 additional parking spots.  In October, a county official
denied a request by the team for a special zoning exemption for
the site.  The Redskins appealed the decision; the board will
consider the extension request tomorrow night (Matt Neufeld,
WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/29).

     A "preliminary agreement" has been reached by Hollywood Park
for financing its proposed $200M stadium where the Raiders and
UCLA would play, according to today's L.A. TIMES.  Hollywood Park
CEO R.D. Hubbard:  "We do have a proposed term sheet from the
bank for financing.  We're pretty close, there are just a few
little items to be worked out."  The "stumbling block" remains
the "unpredictablility" of Raiders owner Al Davis.  Sources say
that he has had a proposed agreement "on his desk for almost
three months."  Although more than $100M has been spent on
renovations to the Coliseum, Davis reportedly "no longer wants to
play in the Coliseum" and has "privately made Hollywood Park his
top option" (John Cherwa, L.A. TIMES, 1/30).

     Negotiations for a compromise that calls for $7M worth of
renovations to the Charlotte Coliseum between the city and the
Hornets have begun, according to Saturday's CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.
The compromise would bring "new luxury suites, a club/restaurant
and other amenities to the Coliseum," but not the new skyboxes
that the Hornets want.  If an agreement is reached, it "would
help ensure that the Hornets get the $5 million in additional
revenues," and could keep the team from leaving the Coliseum
(Chapman &  Mehrtens, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/28).

     Manitoba Entertainment Complex (MEC), the business group
trying to build a new arena in Winnipeg for the Jets, must
convince the Winnipeg City Council to approve a proposal in
principle to donate the land for such a facility before a vote
tomorrow.  According to Friday's WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, the MEC has
only four of the nine yes votes needed, six council members
oppose the idea, and six were undecided. The MEC has promised
$110M in private funding (Stevens Wild, WINNIPEG FREE-PRESS,
1/27).  Winnipeg Deputy Mayor George Fraser says opposition to a
new arena could leave renovation of Winnipeg Arena as the city's
only option (Nick Martin, WINNIPEG FREE-PRESS, 1/27).  MEC board
member Bob Silver says major league sports is "interwoven into
the fabric" of Winnipeg: "What we are talking about is not the
future of sport but future of our city" (Glen Dawkins, WINNIPEG
SUN, 1/27).  Sink, Combs and Delthlefs, the same firm that
designed the San Jose Arena, is in charge of designs for the
prospective arena in Winnipeg (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/29).