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Volume 24 No. 116

Facilities Venues

     The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 yesterday to approve a
plan to sell taxable lease revenue bonds to finance a $60M
expansion of Jack Murphy Stadium, according to the San Diego
DAILY TRANSCRIPT.  The City Attorney's Office has also filed a
motion with the 4th District Court of Appeal asking the court to
take emergency action to certify the availability of funds for
the expansion project.  A group led by former Councilman Bruce
Henderson, tax activist Richard Rider and Steven Green of the
Libertarian Party contend it is illegal to approve a bond sale
without a vote of the people.  Any legal action by this group
could hold the project up for years, but the City Attorney's
motion is intended to keep the project moving forward.  Henderson
and his group plan to meet with their counsel to decide on a next
step while a hearing on the issue has been scheduled for February
16 in San Diego Superior Court (Thor Biberman, San Diego DAILY
TRANSCRIPT, 1/10).

     Hamilton County, OH, commissioners have cut in half a
proposal to raise the sales tax in an attempt to make it more
"palatable" for voters, according to the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER.  A
one-cent on the dollar tax increase was proposed in June to help
finance new stadiums for the Bengals and Reds, and help with
infrastructure improvements in Cincinnati.  Now, voters will be
consider a half-cent on the dollar tax increase on the March
ballot which will contribute $35M a year toward stadium
construction and $15M toward property tax relief for homeowners.
A second half-cent initiative -- additional property tax relief
and for prison improvements -- will be voted on during a November
ballot (Michaud & Goldberg, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/5).

     IL House Democratic leader Michael Madigan said yesterday if
Republicans want to build a domed stadium for the Bears, they
will have to put up all of the votes for the measure unless they
accede to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's demand for regional or
statewide taxes to fund the project, according to the CHICAGO
TRIBUNE.  A spokesperson for Republican House Speaker Lee Daniels
said, "We've said all along that any new stadium, whether Soldier
Field or McDome, would have to be ratified by the Mayor and
carried by his (Democratic) delegation."  Rick Pearson writes,
"The game of power politics in a legislative election year is a
larger priority to the leaders than football" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
1/10).  A report in yesterday' TRIBUNE indicated that McCormick
place officials are outlining a plan to finance a $435M dome
stadium with existing tourism taxes, team revenue and a split of
the public works costs between the city and state (Pearson &
Christian, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/9).

     Superior Court Judge Kevin O'Halloran will consider the
Nets' request for a temporary restraining order blocking the name
change of Brendan Byrne Arena on Jan. 25, according to a report
in USA TODAY.  NJSEA has agreed to refrain from using Continental
ads until the court ruling.  The Nets and NJSEA are scheduled to
meet today on the matter and the two sides have agreed to keep
Continental's name off the shot clock at Nets' games and from
under the ice at Devils' games until the suit is settled.  NJSEA
can use the airline's name on tickets and can publicly refer to
and promote the arena as Continental Airlines Arena.  The naming
rights agreement gives the Devils 30% of the deal, while the
Nets' lease does not entitle them to any new revenues.  Nets
spokesperson Howard Rubenstein said NJSEA "violated our license
agreement, and we have to go to court to protect those rights"
(USA TODAY, 1/10).  The Nets cite a '92 addendum to their lease
that gives them the right of first refusal to any "new
advertising" the NJSEA plans to sell.  Nets attorneys said both
that the team would have matched the $29M Continental deal, and
that they could have broken the deal up and made more money
(Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/9).

     Fans of the old Tiger Stadium were able to gather 8,067
signatures and have added a question to the March 19 ballot on
whether the city should use $35M of city money to build a new
stadium.  The group was allowed to word their question, with
possible confusion looming for voters.  The Tiger Fan Club's
question includes a double negative -- with a "yes" vote meaning
not using city money for the new stadium (DETROIT NEWS,
1/10)....Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell envisions a Camden Yards
model for building a new stadium in Philadelphia:  "I'd recommend
going through the state Sports Authority, which can write bonds,
and have a sports lottery"  (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/7)....The
Lightning have warned Hillsborough County officials that any
extra tax on tickets or concessions would violate their lease at
the new Ice Palace.  The TSA wants to impose a tax to help fund a
new stadium for the Bucs (Joe Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/10).

     Several City Council members said Texas Stadium could get a
new name when it is expanded, according to the DALLAS MORNING
NEWS.  Texas Stadium would likely get a corporate sponsor's name
like 3Com Park in San Francisco and the RCA Dome in Indianapolis,
while the city would benefit from the millions in companies pay
for naming rights.  Dianna Hunt reports City Council member Jack
Spurlock said the money involved in a name change would make the
renovations "more palatable" (Dianna Hunt, DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
1/5).
     BUT WILL RENOVATIONS EVEN HAPPEN?  The stadium's original
architect says renovating Texas Stadium and putting a dome on it
is unrealistic.  Warren Morey, who designed Texas Stadium for
original Cowboys Owner Clint Murchison says putting a dome on the
facility would require major reinforcement of the roof support
system and expanding seating would alter the sight lines.
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is confident it is feasible (WASHINGTON
POST, 1/7).