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Volume 24 No. 159

Facilities Venues

     Tigers President John McHale says the issues of "financing,
financing, and financing" loom large in the future of a new Tiger
Stadium.  Valarie Basheda of the DETROIT NEWS reports that McHale
says that even if the state helps in the stadium effort, he
"isn't sure" how the team can get the financing together.  Last
year, the Tigers lost $20M during the strike.  As a result,
Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch says he cannot offer the full $175M he
originally promised to the effort.  This, in addition to the
team's "dwindling" profits and state lawmakers' unwillingness to
commit tax money to "help out," have caused club officials to
scale back plans for a $400M stadium to $200M-$250M.  McHale:
"There are a lot of big, tough issues to solve.  I just can't sit
here today and say I'm x-percent sure we can get it together"

     A "key step" was taken yesterday in plans to build a
convention and sports facility in Boston as the Patriots agreed
to sign a reported 25-year lease and become the "main tenant" of
the proposed megaplex, according to Richard Kindleberger in
today's BOSTON GLOBE.  Although no details were released, the
team and members of the megaplex commission said they reached an
"agreement in principle."  Kindleberger notes, "Although signing
the Patriots was seen as critical to advancing the project, the
commission must still come up with other funding for the
complex."  According to commission co-chair Kevin Fitzgerald, "If
a private corporation were to step forward with a major
contribution, that could help clinch the deal."  As reported in
yesterday's SPORT BUSINESS DAILY, ITT is interested in investing
in the megaplex (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/23).  In the BOSTON HERALD, Phil
Primack reports that the deal is worth $100M over 20 years, and
negotiations will now continue with the Red Sox.  State Sen.
Robert Havern:  "The Red Sox will be very happy with how this is
concluded.  We want the Red Sox to be involved in this deal"