Twins President Jerry Bell, the team's point man for
researching the feasibility of a baseball-only facility, met with
stadium architects HOK of Kansas City, according to the
Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Bell said HOK discussed the
possibility of building a retractable-roof stadium in MN. HOK
has also proposed putting such a stadium in Milwaukee for $227M.
Bell, former Exec Dir of the Metrodome, said such a stadium in MN
could cost about $300M and said a new ballpark is "no closer"
than 5-10 years down the road (Souhan & Weiner, STAR TRIBUNE,
4/27). A STAR TRIBUNE/WCCO asked 805 residents statewide, April
17-22, whether they would be more or less likely to attend a
Twins game if they played in an outdoor stadium. Forty-two
percent said they would be more likely; 25% were less likely; and
30% said it would make no difference (STAR TRIBUNE, 4/27).
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino yesterday backed a hike in the
city's hotel tax to help pay for a new convention center complex
-- but not with a stadium -- according to Phil Primack of the
BOSTON HERALD. Menino, who had supported an increased hotel tax
if levied statewide, opposes helping fund a full megaplex (BOSTON
Lightning Governor David LeFevre said construction of the
new downtown Tampa arena may not be ready by the October '96
goal, according to today's ST. PETE TIMES. Construction of the
21,000-seat arena began months ago, but the team needs another
extension to prepare a financing plan. In the meantime, the
Lightning has opened talks with St. Pete officials about
extending their ThunderDome lease (Richard Danielson, ST. PETE
TIMES, 4/28). The Tampa Sports Authority and the City Council
extended Sunday's deadline to get $60M in financing until June 30
(TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/28).
RAYS LEASE: The St. Pete City Council reluctantly approved
a 30-year lease for the Devil Rays at the Thunderdome. Under the
lease, the city must raise $50M for renovations while handing
over management of Dome events to the Rays. The city also will
be responsible for insurance, traffic control and a portion of
the maintenance costs. In return, the city receives $.50 for
every ticket sold for any event. While council members
acknowledged "the lease is no winner, they said the city got what
it wanted -- a team." (Noam Neusner, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/28). The
Rays take over Dome management in January '98 (ST. PETE TIMES,
Nearly 60% of Cincinnati residents "oppose construction of a
new downtown stadium for the Reds or Bengals," according to a
poll in the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. The poll also found that "only"
19% of voting-age city residents support a tax increase to pay
for the new facility. The survey of 750 adults was conducted by
Louis Harris and Associates and had a margin of error of +/-
3.6%. Among the 37% who support a new facility, 17% support two
stadiums -- one each for the Bengals and Reds, 48% prefer one
shared structure, and 32% favor one new stadium and a renovated
Riverfront (Richard Green, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/27).