The only thing "likely" to keep a the NHL in South FL is a
deal between its two richest men: Wayne Huizenga and Micky
Arison, according to the MIAMI HERALD. Panthers Owner Huizenga
and Heat Owner Arison both want out of the Miami Arena and both
want taxpayers to pay for a new arena. Metro Commissioner
Maurice Ferre: "If Huizenga and Arison came together and told us
they wanted a modern stadium, we would have to act. If they
don't come together, then there is really nothing to talk about"
(MIAMI HERALD, 7/20).
A King County committee revised the proposal negotiated
between a county executive and the Mariners on Wednesday, capping
the amount taxpayers will spend on a retractable dome at $240.8M.
Heath Foster of the Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE writes that the revision,
and several others increase "the likelihood the full 13-member
council will support" the plan in a vote today. Other
amendments: the proposed .1 cent sales tax will also pay off the
$70M debt for the repair of the Kingdome and make $100M in
Kingdome improvements for the Seahawks; the county will not
contribute to the cost of designing the stadium -- estimated at
$5M-$10M; and the county will not pay for any construction
overruns. Mariners Pres. John Ellis argued against saying his
team will lose $15M a year until a new park opens in '99 and that
the their investment in the park will top $250M (NEWS TRIBUNE,
Massport Exec Dir Stephen Tocco argued that only the sports
pieces of a megaplex can draw private investment which can be
used to reduce the amount of public funds needed for a convention
center. Meanwhile, House Ways and Means Chair Thomas Finneran, a
megaplex opponent, said legislative support for a convention
center-only bond issue would be a "deadlock cinch" as long as it
was backed by a hotel "shelf" tax to kick in if revenues failed
to cover the costs. Tocco has called for a p.r. campaign to push
for a full megaplex as a job generator for Boston's inner city.
Tocco said Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter will
help lead a pro-megaplex effort (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD,
7/20). Members of the megaplex commission have expressed
"chagrin" that five weeks after filing legislation to authorize
construction of the project, House Speaker Charles Flaherty still
has not assigned a bill to a committee (Richard Kindleberger,
BOSTON GLOBE, 7/20).