New Jersey Assemblyman Joseph Roberts and Assistant State
Senate Minority Leader Richard J. Codey have called for public
hearings on NJ Sports and Exposition Authority's tentative
agreement to "sweeten" the Devils' lease at Bryne Arena. Both
men complain lawmakers and taxpayers have been shut out of the
whole process (Stephen Hirsch, Bergen RECORD, 8/10)....WI Gov.
Tommy Thompson said the Brewers and his administration were "very
close" to agreeing on a financial package for a new stadium,
according to Craig Gilbert in this morning's MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
SENTINEL. The two sides still reportedly have "a number of
issues -- from money to control" to work out. Craig reports
there is talk of a September special session for the State
Legislature before it commences September 19. State officials
also disclosed they have retained a financial adviser to examine
the team's financial records. The consulting firm Public
Financial Management has "looked at the Brewers' records on the
state's behalf" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/10).
"It's a done deal; it is flat done," declared Lightning
Governor David LeFevre about the deal to have a downtown arena
built in Tampa, according to Tom McEwen in the TAMPA TRIBUNE.
McEwen writes the arena that is already under construction "will
see a shift into overdrive with three crews working near round-
the-clock" to have the facility ready for an October '96 opening.
He also notes an extensive marketing push expected to lease the
27 remaining luxury suites and start a club-seat licensing
program (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 8/10). Jeff Testerman writes the
Lightning ownership group building the arena, Tampa Bay Arena
Limited Partners, will deed the facility to the Tampa Sports
Authority upon completion. The Arena Partners will then lease
the facility rent-free. Arena officials will keep all revenues,
but pay all operating and maintenance costs. The group is also
subject to "severe" penalties if it seeks to relocate the team
any time during their 30-year lease (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 8/10).
The Bears have added Aurora, a Chicago suburb, "to the list
of potential sites for a new football stadium," according to Mike
Mulligan of the CHICAGO SUN TIMES. The team as secured an option
to buy a 207-acre property "in the far northeast side of Aurora,
along the Interstate 88 Research and Development Corridor." The
parcel is roughly 25 miles west of Chicago. Bears President Mike
McCaskey hopes to have four sites to take to the state
legislature "in hopes of determining a final site by January" so
construction can be completed for the 2000 season. The Chicago
site will be proposed by the city (CHICAGO SUN TIMES, 8/10). The
Bears already have an option on lands in Hoffman Estates, about
20 miles northwest of the city. McCaskey: "The city (of Chicago)
will have to make its decision about what its favorite site is,
and as I understand it, they are looking at two or three sites.
We favor whatever site is most doable and can be committed to by
the end of 1995." Funding questions "remain a major stumbling
block in the team's stadium plans," legislators said it is
"unlikely" the IL General Assembly would give the Bears $185M in
state bonds to help pay for the $285M stadium" (Peter Baniak,
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/10).