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Volume 24 No. 114

Facilities Venues

     Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and Tigers officials yesterday
announced a plan to ensure the inclusion of "minority, women,
small and city-based businesses" in the construction of the new
$235M ballpark in downtown Detroit, according to the DETROIT
NEWS.  Under the Michigan Minority Business Development Council
plan, at least 20% of the construction work will be performed by
minority businesses, with 5% done by women-owned businesses.  In
addition, "at least" 25% of the work will go to Detroit-based
businesses (Basheda & Serju, DETROIT NEWS, 11/21).

     Developer Stephen Karp said yesterday he has had
"preliminary" talks with both Red Sox and Boston city officials
about building a new ballpark for the team at the site of the
Sears building near Fenway Park, according to the BOSTON HERALD.
Phil Primack notes Karp is motivated by "flat retail prospects"
associated with his development of the Sears building.  Karp said
he is only pursuing a "concept" at this point, but added, "The
city and the Red Sox both appear to be open-minded."  Karp said a
facility would fit on the Sears site, but he "may need some
additional land."  He also added that the Fenway area is already
associated with baseball which would help neighborhood support of
the project (BOSTON HERALD, 11/21).

     The WI Supreme Court has ordered the parties in a suit
seeking to prevent a five-county sales tax increase to build a
new ballpark for the Brewers to trade written arguments by
December 29 and set oral arguments for January 11.  Stadium
opponents argue the Legislature illegally set up the new taxing
districts (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/21)....In Minneapolis,
Sid Hartman writes while the Vikings can pay to escape their
Metrodome lease, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission's
Bill Lester says they would go to court to keep the team.
Vikings President Roger Headrick says he has no plans to move
(Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/21)....NASCAR President Bill France
spent three hours touring the Texas Motor Speedway with developer
Bruton Smith on Sunday, but NASCAR still has not decided whether
to award the track a Winston Cup race date (FT. WORTH STAR-
TELEGRAM, 11/21)....Metro-Dade County mayoral candidate (and
former Miami Mayor) Xavier Suarez wants to "raid the budgets of
two county-supported agencies" to pay for a new downtown arena
for the Heat.  He proposes financing a new arena for the Heat
become a top issue in the upcoming mayoral campaign.  In other
news, City of Miami commissioners agreed to try to buy out the
company, Decoma Miami Associates, that manages the Miami Arena,
to give the city more control over arena business including the
upcoming lease negotiations with the Heat (MIAMI HERALD,
11/17)....The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and
Visitors Bureau, and the GA Hospitality and Travel Association
all endorse the proposed citywide car rental tax to help finance
a $200M downtown arena for the Hawks (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
11/18).

     The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the process of winning
approval from federal regulators to fill wetlands on the proposed
site of a new Bears stadium in Gary will take "at least a year,"
according to this morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  And if the Corps
requires a detailed environmental impact statement, "Super Bowl
XXXIV in the year 2000 may come and go before a decision is
made."  Indiana officials hope to have a stadium ready by the
time the Bears' Soldier Field lease expires in '99.  Once the
group files a formal application to fill the wetlands, the Corps
will have a public-notice period of about 30 days.  But according
to the Corps' Project Manager David Gesl, if the project is
deemed to have a major impact on the wetland, the Corps can
require a full environmental impact statement which could stretch
out the final decision on the project for up to five years
(Swanson & Christian, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/21).