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Volume 24 No. 117

Facilities Venues

     Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell is "optimistic" the Hawks will
build their new arena downtown and spark a "renaissance" in the
area, according to Maria Sapota and Henry Unger of the ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION.  Sapota and Unger report the city put together an
"excellent package" for Turner executives to review.  William
Shaw, head of the Hawks Arena Task Force: "We continue to work
optimistically with the mayor's office.  They have worked very
hard on this."  The Task Force is expected to make a presentation
to Hawks Owner/TBS Chair Ted Turner soon, perhaps as early as
next week (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/22).

     Mets Co-Owner Fred Wilpon has a "much more advanced" plan
than his partner Nelson Doubleday's desire to replace Shea
Stadium with a retractable dome ball park and construct an
adjacent futuristic entertainment complex, according to Richard
Sandomir in the N.Y. TIMES.  In a conversation with Charles
Gargano, Chair of the NY Urban Development Corp., Wilpon said
Doubleday's Belmont Park plan has hardly been discussed and
stated further, "We're perfectly happy at Shea, and we don't want
to go anywhere" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 6/22).  Paul Moran
writes, "Doubleday's idea is worth exploring.  The core of
Belmont must be preserved, but the fringes of its vast property
are expendable and the property is much too large for its current
use" (NEWSDAY, 6/22).  Joe Gergen writes, "That the Mets are
preparing to abandon the facility is not exactly news. ... There
is a chance that by the start of the new century New York City
will be without a major-league baseball team" (NEWSDAY, 6/22).
Bob Glauber notes that the Jets' Meadowlands lease runs through
2008, making them unlikely to join the Mets in a new stadium in
"the foreseeable future" (NEWSDAY, 6/22).  Denene Millner and
Jane Furse note in the N.Y. DAILY NEWS New York Mayor Rudy
Giuliani said he would "make certain" the Mets stay in New York
City (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/22).

     Tampa Stadium Authority Chair Chuck Davis said Wednesday
that local business told him the TSA "probably" won't be able to
raise half of the estimated $168M stadium cost through the sale
of PSLs, as they had hoped, report Joe Henderson and Kevin Walker
in the TAMPA TRIBUNE.  A report from sports marketer Max
Muhleman, to be ready in about a month, will outline how much the
area can reasonably expect to raise through PSLs.  Henderson and
Walker report the project could have "nearly $100M in unfunded
needs," with the "most talked-about" funding options being a
restaurant tax, an increase in the hotel tax, ticket surcharges
or a utility tax.  Stadium backers have acknowledged taxpayer
support will be needed, but had hoped it would be $70M or less.
Hillsborough County Commissioners agreed Wednesday to give Bucs
Owner Malcolm Glazer a break on the rent if attendance falls
below 55,000 per game and offer him concession and parking
profits if attendance is above 55,000.  That should allow Glazer
to wrap up his purchase of the team.  NationsBank has delayed
closure on the deal pending those financial guarantees (TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 6/22).  Columnist Tom McEwen writes, "So the Buc ship is
better rigged and appears to be back on course" (TAMPA TRIBUNE,
6/22).  Pat Yasinskas writes that the NFL, through the Raiders,
is sending a message to which Bucs supporters may want to pay
attention, "It's no longer difficult to relocate an existing
team" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/22).

     The Reds and Bengals may get new stadiums under a $540M
proposal to raise the Hamilton County sales tax but reduce
property taxes, according to the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER.  The 20-
year tax increase, from 5.5% to 6.5%, would be imposed without a
public vote, and would generate an estimated $100M annually.
This revenue would be used for a $540M stadium complex, special
levies now being paid by county property owners, and a 300-bed
jail.  The plan will be released today by County Commissioner Bob
Bedinghause, and will roll back property taxes by an average of
18% annually.  Bengals Business Manager Bill Connelly:  "This is
what Mike (Brown) has been waiting for.  We're anxious to see the
details" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/22).