MOTOR CITY STADIUM NEWS: TIGERS GET NEW DIGS; LIONS NEXT?
The Tigers and Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer agreed Friday on
plans to build a new $235M downtown ballpark for the team,
according to the DETROIT NEWS. While the City Council must still
approve the plan, the project would be funded by a $55M grant
from the state Strategic Fund, $40M in Downtown Development
Authority bonds, and $145M from Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch. The
Tigers would also be responsible for $2M toward the demolition or
maintenance of the old Tiger Stadium and any cost overruns.
Construction of the open-air, 42,000-seat natural turf ballpark
is scheduled to begin in April, with completion targeted for
April '98 (Brian Akre, AP/DETROIT NEWS, 10/28).
GROWL: The Tigers deal leaves open the possibility of the
Lions developing land adjacent to the Tigers site, according to
the DETROIT NEWS. Lions VP Bill Keenist: "We consider the
possibility of building on that site a real one" (R.J. King,
DETROIT NEWS, 10/29). Kathleen Gray writes in the OAKLAND PRESS
that the Lions have stated that unless a new lease agreement is
negotiated with the Silverdome by January 1, the team will
explore other options -- and the deal with the Tigers "may help
usher" the Lions downtown. Lions Vice Chair William Clay Ford:
"To the extent that it makes a side-by-side stadium possible, it
does pave the way for us to have a side-by-side" (OAKLAND PRESS,