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Volume 24 No. 156

Facilities Venues

     After the strike ends, talk of a new downtown baseball
stadium in Detroit will "be renewed, only this time there figures
to be more than debate," according to the DETROIT NEWS' Lynn
Henning.  Henning writes there is likely "to be action" on the
proposed $270M Foxtown ballpark, as Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch
plans to back a 30-year, $200M-plus bond sale.  In addition,
Henning says stadium plans will move forward because of broad
bipartisan support and leadership from the State House, something
that "had been lacking" in earlier talks.  Although some state
assistance will be needed -- including gaming revenue from a
proposed casino --the "bulk of a new Foxtown stadium will be
Ilitch's responsibility."  Ilitch will have to finance close to
$8M a year to satisfy the bond -- money which would be raised by
a ticket surcharge, luxury seating, and advertising.  And he
would lease, not own, the stadium.  Henning predicts "no
participation on the part" of the Lions, which is "just the way
the Tigers want it" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/29).

     Residents of Rolling Oaks, a northern Dade County
neighborhood "in the shadows" of Joe Robbie Stadium, say that the
Panthers "are not welcome" in the area.  The stadium area is one
of six places where Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga might build a
civic center/arena.  Attorneys for residents are threatening a
"legal fight" if Huizenga tries to build on the vacant lands he
owns near the stadium (Eric Conrad, Ft. Lauderdale SUN SENTINEL,

     Patriots Owner Robert Kraft said he will pay for a new
stadium for his team if the public supplies the land and other
support.  His comments "stunned" the MA Megaplex Commission by
raising the idea of a privately financed facility, but Kraft's
aides later called the idea "completely theoretical" and said it
"was not under serious consideration" (Richard Kindleberger,
BOSTON GLOBE, 3/30).  Still, his comments "added a new twist to
an already complicated" Megaplex debate.  Kraft did not rule out
other options, such as renovating Foxboro Stadium or being part
of a downtown Megaplex, perhaps looking to "improve his image"
with legislators who have criticized him for asking for public
support.  Red Sox officials, who have said they would are willing
to pay for a new home if the state provides the land, said they
would meet with Kraft.  Red Sox VP John Buckley:  "If there is
any possibility to side-by-side football and baseball stadiums,
that would be great."  Commission members said if Kraft and the
Red Sox are willing to finance facilities themselves, the
commission would focus on a convention center alone, which is
what several "wanted to do anyway" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD,
3/30).  NFL VP/ Business and Football Development Roger Goodell
also addressed the commission, saying that communities that have
lost NFL teams "quickly came to understand the tremendous value
to the community of what they had lost after failing to respond
to the need for a new facility" (Martin Nolan, BOSTON GLOBE,
3/30).  Goodell also floated the notion of a new Boston facility
hosting the Super Bowl (AP, 3/30).