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Volume 24 No. 113

Facilities Venues

     Despite objections from Republican legislators, MD's
Democratically-controlled Board of Public Works yesterday gave
"swift and unanimous" approval to a deal to build a $200M,
70,000-seat stadium for the Browns, according to the Baltimore
SUN.  John Frece writes, if NFL owners approve the team move in
January, groundbreaking could be as early as March.  For their
part, Republican lawmakers are concerned about the level of
revenue needed from the lottery.  The preliminary financing plan
for the stadium calls for $20M in lottery revenue for FY '96,
$32M in '97, and $35M each in '98 and '99.  But in the eight
years lottery revenue has been used to finance Oriole Park,
revenues have averaged just under $21M and have never exceeded
$26.7M.  One delegate predicts the project could run almost $42M
in the red (Baltimore SUN, 11/16).  The WASHINGTON POST reports
MD Gov. Parris Glendening may take out newspaper ads to bolster
the claim of economic benefits for the state.  State Sen. Brian
Frosh calls Glendening's claim no tax money will be used "right,
but it is misleading."  Frosh adds:  "It doesn't matter whether
its tax dollars or lottery dollars.  It's money that could go
into other uses, such as school construction" (WASHINGTON POST,

     The Warriors yesterday got an extension from the Oakland-
Alameda County Coliseum Board to decide where they will play next
season, according to the S.F. CHRONICLE.  The team is in
discussions with Coliseum officials to refurbish the facility,
and Warriors attorney Robin Baggett said the "discussions are
going very well."  Details had not been worked out by yesterday
(S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/16).  The Warriors' discussions with San Jose
revealed that city is the Bay Area's "largest and wealthiest
market for a professional sports franchise."  According to SALES
AND MARKETING magazine's annual survey of buying power, San Jose
ranks 3rd in the U.S. in percentage of households with income of
$50,000+ (Mark Simon, S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/16).  In Oakland, Bob
Salladay writes that any renovations to the Coliseum could slow
construction on the stadium, which would cost up to $10,000 per
game, or $1M after 30 days if stadium work is not done by April 1

     A group of Northwest IN business leaders, under the banner
of "Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland Entertainment," yesterday
announced plans for a 75,000-seat "futuristic" open-air stadium
complex in Gary, IN, called Planet Park, according to today's
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.  Designer Benjamin Wood said the stadium would
be a place where "sports can relate with the world of
cyberspace," adding that several thousand of the seats would have
control panels allowing fans to play interactive games.  The
group also said the Bears would remain the Chicago Bears.  In
addition to a stadium, Planet Park would also feature a family
resort, hotel, recreational vehicle park, amusement park and
nine-hole golf course.  There would also be a Bears Hall of Fame,
a "Planetary Garden," a multi-screen movie theatre and parking
for more than 25,000 cars with a special area for tailgating
(Michelle Campbell, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/16).  The plan calls
for a 60-40 public-private financing split, with public money
from a .5% Lake County income tax and PSLs and stadium-related
revenue the source of private funds (Christian & Kass, CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 11/16).
     REACTION:  Bears VP of Operations Ted Philips: "Contrary to
prior reports, we have not agreed to any deal.  We are still
looking at the Soldier Field proposal and the northwest Indiana
proposal.  There is a lot of work to be done."  The Bears are
scheduled to meet with Chicago officials next week regarding the
proposed renovation of Soldier Field (Mike Mulligan, CHICAGO SUN-
TIMES, 11/16).
     YER UP, YER HONOR:  Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he
counts "25 ifs" in the Gary proposal, while his Chicago
renovation proposal is a sure thing.  Daley: "We have an
engineering and construction date that can start Jan. 1.  We have
a financial package.  We have no ifs involved in any of those
things" (Fran Spielman, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/16).
     FROM INDIANA:  Cam Simpson writes in the INDIANAPOLIS STAR
that at a closed-door luncheon yesterday hosted by NIPSCO, Lake
County Council members were not "giving signals either way" about
the proposed income tax.  Council Member Fran DuPrey: "I think we
are going to be very cautious, I'm waiting to get more facts"

     FL legislators "have a message for Tampa area politicians
who want to impose new taxes for a football stadium:  Don't waste
our time," write Joe Henderson and Ken Koehn in the TAMPA
TRIBUNE.  State Sen. Malcolm Beard: "I don't understand how those
elected officials down there can't get it through their thick
heads that the voters in Hillsborough County aren't in the mood
for more taxes."  State Rep. Rob Wallace said a local referendum
is now the only way to go if new taxes are going to be needed to
keep the Bucs (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/16).  In St. Pete, Jeff
Testerman writes a recent idea of borrowing money against the
local bed tax "is too risky," because taking funds from Tampa's
convention bureau could end up putting it out of business and cut
into the city's $150M per year convention bookings (ST.