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Volume 24 No. 112

Facilities Venues

     The 13-member MA Convention Center Commission unanimously
voted yesterday to build a downtown Boston convention-sports
complex that could include stadiums for the Patriots and the Red
Sox and cost as much as $1B. Now the "real challenge" is in
forming a financial plan that "brings in the private investment
interest that everyone agrees is crucial and win legislative
approval."  The commission also eliminated two sites, leaving
three sites in the running (Richard Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE,
According to records filed with the MA Secretary of State,
Patriots owner Robert Kraft's Foxboro Stadium Associates has paid
$8,500 to the lobbying firm of Joyce and Joyce during the
megaplex debate.  New Boston Garden Corp. paid $19,500 to
lobbyist William Coyne in '94 and '95 to "monitor megaplex
issues" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 4/20).

     The S.F. Giants and the developer of a possible ballpark in
the city's Mission Bay area have been paying two "well-known"
lobbyists "big bucks" to advance plans for a new ballpark,
according to a report in the SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER.  According
to financial disclosure statements filed by the lobbyists for the
first three months of '95, the team and Catellus Devlopment Corp.
have paid out a total of $21,500 to lobbyists Marcia Smolens and
Jack Davis.  San Francisco voters have twice voted against a new
stadium, and according to the EXAMINER, some activists are
"already vowing to fight any new plan, particularly if public
financing is involved."  Giants VP Larry Baer:  "We need to work
with people who understand the political and governmental side of
the issue."  Baer added that the team has hired different
consultants to work on "a variety of angles," including,
architecture, financing and political issues (Rachel Gordon, SAN

     Hillsborough County Administrator Dan Kleman released a new
$98M renovation plan for Tampa Stadium that calls for "local
public dollars to pick up less than a third of the cost."  Under
Kleman's plan, $30M would be raised through the sale of Permanent
Seat Licenses (Kevin Walker, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/19).  The Glazer
family, new owners of the Bucs, refused to say if Kleman's
proposal was "adequate" for the team to stay.  In this morning's
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, Larry Dougherty writes that "the Glazers'
position ultimately remains unchanged from the January day when
they struck a deal to purchase the team -- the day Joel Glazer
said 'this city needs a new stadium to make it work' -- the stage
may be set for a stalemate" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/20).
     MORE DEADLINES:  The City of St. Petersburg has asked
Pinellas County Commissioners to raise the county's tourist tax
to pay for their $20M obligation for improvements to make the
Thunderdome baseball-ready.  However, the commissioners will not
be able to vote on the issue until May 9.  MLB has set a April 30
deadline for the Devil Rays to submit a stadium lease; and local
officials have asked Rays Owner Vince Naimoli to request more
time. Naimoli will reportedly consider the request, "but might
not agree" to honor it, according to team officials.  Rays
General Council John Higgins: "He still wants to see what path
we're travelling down" (Neusner & Moncada, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/20).