Heat Owner Micky Arison has reached an agreement with the
city of Miami to extend the team's lease by two years to 2000,
while he "looks for a new downtown site." However, arena manager
Leisure Management Int'l, half-owned by Marlins/Dolphins/Panthers
Owner Wayne Huizenga, said it "will reject the proposed lease."
Arison believes this "is a big conflict of interest," because
Huizenga plans to build a new arena for the Panthers and would
like the Heat as a tenant. Arison: "The city of Miami's arena is
being run by someone who says he plans to build an arena in Fort
Lauderdale." Miami Mayor Stephen Clark has agreed to the
extension. The city owns the land, and one of its agencies, the
Miami Sports and Exposition Authority, owns the arena. Leisure
Management's Rob Franklin said Huizenga "has no role in these
negotiations" (Ted Reed, MIAMI HERALD, 3/10).
The Twins have launched a campaign for a new baseball-only
stadium, and "they've got the American League on their side." AL
President Gene Budig said he will go to Minnesota to look at
"stadium improvements." Twins Owner Carl Pohlad is not satisfied
with the Metrodome: "It's a football stadium. ... We're going to
start taking a look at all the options. We're still in the
exploratory phase." In the Twin Cities, Jim Caple writes that
considering how easy the city "rolled over" for the T-Wolves,
"our only response to the Twins will be to ask what color scheme
they want in the luxury suite" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/9).
TARGET CENTER DEAL DONE TODAY? The Minneapolis City Council
will vote today on the public takeover of the Target Center.
This would "finally clear the way" for likely Wolves Owner Glen
Taylor to close his $88.5M acquisition of the NBA team from Marv
Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner. Taylor would sign a 30-year lease
to play at the Target Center. A last minute negotiated item
would keep his property taxes low if he doesn't sell or move the
team and could save Taylor "tens of millions of dollars over the
next 30 years" (Bruce Oswall, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/10).