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Volume 24 No. 157

Facilities Venues

     The MA commission studying a possible megaplex is scheduled
to hear from state officials and others who have spent "several"
weeks reviewing each potential site for a combined convention
center/stadium.  State Rep. Kevin Fitzgerald said preliminary
findings "didn't give us a push one way or the other (Phil
Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 5/10).  The commission is also launching
"one more -- and possibly final -- drive to find enough private
financing" for the facility.  Greater Boston Convention and
Visitors Bureau President Patrick Moscaritolo:  "It's clear that
the commission needs to know whether the business community
intends to suit up and play or sit it out."  The commission is
retaining three separate consultants for more than $250,000 total
to help look into the financing (BOSTON HERALD, 5/9).  For the
first time, Senate President Billy Bulger said that building the
proposed complex on Summer Street in South Boston "might be a
suitable location after all."  While Bulger is "warming" to the
convention center and maybe even a baseball park, he "appeared to
remain opposed to building a 70,000-seat domed stadium in South
Boston" (Richard Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/9).

     Racetrack owner Bruton Smith and the Fort Worth City Council
have come to a "general agreement" that calls for the creation of
a sports authority to issue bonds for the construction of Smith's
$75M Texas Motor Speedway to be located just north of Alliance
Airport, write Roland Martin & Jack Smith in the FORT WORTH STAR-
TELEGRAM.  Within six months, a final agreement on operating
rules and legal requirements must be reached between the Council
and Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc.  City officials expect the
speedway to boost tourism revenue and increase exposure through
NASCAR TV events (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/10).

     Yesterday's meeting between the Tampa Sports Authority and
architects from K.C.-based HOK made TSA officials believe that it
will take "some big bucks" to keep the Bucs from leaving town,
according to today's TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Estimates for a new stadium
run as high as $210M, while the cost of renovation was put at
$155M.  Citing "sticker shock," the TSA asked HOK to return next
week with a list of "cost-cutting ideas."  TSA Building Committee
Chair Steve Anderson, expressed "surprise" to HOK's estimates:
"They're much higher than I anticipated.  I don't think the
community could afford or is prepared to pay $210M" (Jim Kenyon,
TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/10).  Although HOK officials "provided few
details" about why the estimates for renovation were so much
higher than expected, they did say that working with the
"constraints of the stadium's existing structure complicated
their job" (Danielson & Banks, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/10).