MA state officials behind plans for a South Boston megaplex
stated yesterday that they could "cover at least half" of the
estimated $80M annual cost by levying new "fees or taxes" on
hotel rooms, rental cars, airplane tickets and other tourist
industries, according to the BOSTON GLOBE. It is still unclear
whether Gov. William Weld will support this measure in light of
his pledge to veto any megaplex that contained what he considered
to be tax increases (Peter Howe, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/31). Naming
rights for the megaplex promise to generate as much as $15M to
$20M over 10 years, according to Steff Gelston of the BOSTON
HERALD. Officials from both John Hancock and Reebok have stated
they aren't interested in the sponsorship. David D'Alessandro, a
senior exec with John Hancock, even said he can't imagine why
national companies like Gillette or ITT Sheraton would be
interested. D'Alessandro: "Any national player who decides to do
it is doing it out of ego and not out of business sense" (Steff
Gelston, BOSTON HERALD, 5/31).
The Raptors are telling the city of Toronto they will not
pay for a piece of land that is an "integral" part of the team's
C$200M arena development, according to the FINANCIAL POST. In a
letter to city officials, Raptors Stadium Project Dir Jay Cross
explained that the benefits Toronto will get from a downtown
arena should be "more than ample compensation" in place of the
C$1.6M the city has requested. Toronto Councillor Michael
Walker: "As far as I'm concerned, they're not getting a nickel
from the taxpayers." The Council's executive committee is
expected to discuss the matter today (FINANCIAL POST, 5/31).
Reds Owner Marge Schott and the Cincinnati Business
Community (CBC) announced plans yesterday to build a new ballpark
on Riverfront West (Geoff Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/31).
Although there is no chosen design and no formal land purchase,
COX NEWS states the proposed stadium would seat 45,000 and cost
about $200M to build. Schott: "Business leaders and I have
agreed to work together to locate a new world-class stadium at
Riverfront West that will benefit not only the Reds and their
fans but the city of Cincinnati as well." Financing remains an
issue with Gov. George Voinovich saying he would "support a state
commitment" similar to what was done for Cleveland's Gateway
Project. In Cleveland, state support amounted to 12% of the
total cost of Jacobs Field and Gund Arena. Voinovich's Press
Secretary Mike Dawson: "We have not yet received the details of
the Cincinnati press conference, but the Governor would support
state funding in the range of 15 percent" (Simms & Vinella, COX
NEWS/DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 5/31).
WHAT ABOUT THE BENGALS? According to Procter & Gamble Chair
& CEO Ed Artzt, a member of the CBC, the Reds deal is good news
for the Bengals. Artzt added the CBC is committed to keeping the
Bengals in Cincinnati. Artzt: "I can't give you specific
details, but discussions have been held with the ownership of the
Bengals and with Mike Brown. We're all feeling pretty positive
about that" (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 5/31). In a statement, Bengals
President and GM Mike Brown noted that the Reds move was cause
for concern, but hopes things will work out. Brown: "We hope
this will prove to be a first step toward an overall solution
that will keep both of the city's major league franchises where
we believe they belong" (Bengals). Brown reportedly has until
late June to respond to an offer from the Maryland Stadium
Authority to move the team to Baltimore (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,
"The Aud" has been home to Buffalo's NHL and minor league
hockey clubs since it's opening in 1940, but will close after
next season when the new Crossroads Arena opens. The new $122.5M
project will be a public/private partnership, with Erie County,
the City of Buffalo and State of New York contributing $55
million of the facility's cost.
ARENA(S): Memorial Auditorium, Crossroads Arena, Buffalo, NY
TENANTS: Buffalo Sabres
AGE: Aud opened October 15, 1940, Crossroads to open in
OWNERSHIP: Aud -- City of Buffalo.
Crossroads -- public/private partnership
COST: Crossroads will cost a total of $122.5M.
CAPACITY: Aud's capacity is 16,134 for hockey, Crossroads
will seat 20,000 for hockey.
LUXURY SEATS: Approximately 200 luxury seats at the Aud.
Crossroads will have 2,400 club seats and 80
suites. All revenue generated goes directly to
the Sabres. Luxury seating will have direct access
to covered parking along with beverage service
available via computer ordering.
CONCESSIONS: All revenues to Sabres in both arenas
ADVERTISING: All revenues to Sabres in both arenas
PARKING: Limited parking for the stadium, but all revenues
go to the Sabres.
GAME-DAY: Sabres are responsible for employees
LEASE: The lease actually expires at the end of the '94-
'95 hockey season. However, a clause in the lease
states that if the new building is not completed
by this time, the lease will be renewed annually.
MAINTENANCE: The City of Buffalo has been responsible for
maintenance at the Aud.
(Sources: Michael Masiello, Director of Buffalo Auditorium)
The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency "unanimously agreed"
to consider a downtown site on Rincon Hill as a convention center
and new home for the Warriors, according to the SAN FRANCISCO
CHRONICLE. The plan must now go to the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors for approval who could begin hearings as early as
next week. Board President Kevin Shelley: "We'd be delighted to
have the Warriors back in San Francisco." Warriors Owner
Christopher Cohan has stated he wants the team in a new facility
by the fall of 1998 and is believed to favor the Rincon Hill
site. Cohan is also exploring options in San Jose and Oakland
(Dan Levy, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/31).