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Volume 24 No. 159

Facilities Venues

     Giants Stadium "will be outfitted" with $37.2M worth of new
luxury seating under a partnership formed by the NJ Sports &
Exposition Authority and the Jets and Giants, according to this
morning's Bergen RECORD.  The two teams and the Authority "each
will foot one-third of the construction costs and will split the
take from the new seating."  Plans call for building 32 luxury
suites, 26 of them suspended on towers above the existing upper
tier, and six "supersuites" on the mezzanine level where the
press box currently is.  Also on the mezzanine will be 794 new
club seats.  Construction on the project, the first major
expansion to Giants Stadium since it was built, is scheduled to
begin next month with the work to be completed in time for the
'97 NFL season.  Officials said details on the costs of the new
suites would be released next week (Thomas Fitzgerald, Bergen
RECORD, 10/13).

     The D.C. Redevelopment Land Agency yesterday agreed to lease
a city-owned site to Bullets/Caps Owner Abe Pollin, according to
the WASHINGTON TIMES.  Meanwhile D.C. Superior Court Judge Linda
Hamilton will decide today whether next Wednesday's planned
groundbreaking for the MCI Center at Gallery Place can go
forward.  Earlier in the week Judge Hamilton granted a
preliminary injunction against further action by the city in
approving the arena, but ruled the city could go forward with
some action, including yesterday's meeting in which the agency's
board approved the 30-year lease with Pollin.  Before approving
the lease, the board added a provision that Washington Sports
would have to pay the city as much as $61M if the teams vacate
the arena (Jeanne Dewey, WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/13).

     The stadium authority overseeing construction of the Trans
World Dome in St. Louis is expected to announce today that the
dome will not be ready for the Rams-49ers' game on October 22,
according to this morning's ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  Stadium
construction manager Lawrence Akley met Thursday with officials
from FANS Inc., the Convention and Visitors Commission and the
Rams.  A source close to those talks said the authority and the
Convention and Visitors Commission "probably will not be able to
guarantee delivery of a 'football-ready' first-class facility."
If the game is moved to Busch, the Rams will have to refund about
5,000 fans who bought single-game tickets for the dome opener.
The team is also "weighing whether it will waive" the $1M penalty
called for under the terms of their closing agreement if the
stadium is not delivered by October 22 (Lorraine Kee, POST-
DISPATCH, 10/13).

     Despite the "desire" of some Harris County official to
reimburse Astros owner Drayton McLane and his Astrodome USA
company for nearly $500,000 in emergency repairs to the county-
owned Astrodome, the County Attorney's Office may block the
payments.  The county's lawyers believe it may be illegal to
reimburse Astrodome USA because of the county's purchasing
requirements which require the county to put repairs on public
facilities up for bid.  The repairs were made before this year's
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HOUSTON CHRONICLE)....A bill in
the MA legislature that will call for a private bidding process
for construction of a new convention facility in Boston is
expected to clear the House next week and legislative leaders are
hopeful to have something on the governor's desk by November 15.
The bill will probably not designate a particular site.  And the
issue of whether a domed stadium will be part of the facility
"may be left open" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/13).

     WI Gov. Tommy Thompson signed into law yesterday a financing
plan for a new $250M stadium for the Brewers.  Plans call for the
stadium to be modeled in the style of Brooklyn's Ebbets Field,
but with a retractable roof and luxury seating.  The bill creates
a stadium authority that will levy a tenth of a percent sales tax
increase in Milwaukee and four surrounding counties.  The tax
helps pay off $160M in bonds issued to pay for the public's share
of the cost.  The team has agreed to pay $90M of construction
costs with the help of a $50M loan from the WI Housing and
Economic Development Authority.  Before signing the financing
plan into law, Thompson vetoed language in the bill that would
have made the stadium a non-smoking facility.  Thompson said the
ban might raise constitutional problems and problems for the team
and the stadium authority if Philip Morris' Miller Brewing wants
to purchase the naming rights (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL,
10/13).