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Volume 24 No. 112

Facilities Venues

     The American League supports the decision of the A's not to
play their opening games at the Oakland Coliseum.  The league
reports "alternative arrangements" will be determined as early as
possible (AL).  Las Vegas remains the likely choice, according to
Bay Area reports today.  The $100M stadium renovation -- as part
of the Raiders' return to Oakland -- included assurances the A's
season would not be interrupted.  But team and league officials
who toured the site "deemed the Coliseum not sufficiently
complete," according to A's GM Sandy Alderson.  The decision
"shocked" city, county and stadium officials, "all of whom have a
significant financial stake in assuring that the deal runs
smoothly" (Fimrite & Ketterman, S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/19).  Coliseum
construction manager Don Webb said the project remains on
schedule and that the A's have known it would be a "work in
progress" throughout the summer.  Coliseum CEO Bob Quintella:
"It is misleading to suggest now that the decision to go
elsewhere was based on the renovation being incomplete,
unacceptable or unsafe."  A's Exec VP Ed Alvarez:  "We expected
them to be ahead of schedule from where they are now."  A key
complaint was 1,000 fewer parking spaces (Robert Salladay,
OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 3/19).
     BATTLE OF THE BAY:  Columnist Glenn Dickey explains the
simple reason why the A's won't use the Giants' 3Com Park for
their early games:  "Because the top people in the two
organizations hate each other" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/19).

     Despite the Brewers' recent troubles completing their share
of financing for a new stadium, Milwaukee County residents
continue to have faith the project will be completed, according
to a new MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL poll.  While respondents
"overwhelmingly favor" building on current stadium grounds rather
than a downtown site, 71% believe the new facility will get
built.  The plan is to build on the current site, but many
business and political leaders still prefer downtown.  Brewers
President Bud Selig "adamantly opposes" that idea.  On financing,
Brewers VP Laurel Prieb said the team continues to work toward
lining up a $50M loan before a noon Friday stadium board deadline
(Kenneth Lamke, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/19).

     San Francisco voters go to the polls a week from today to
consider a proposal to build a $255M ballpark in the city's China
Basin region.  With polls showing the measure being backed by a
"large margin," Giants officials and other backers are "brimming
with confidence," according to this morning's SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS.  Michael Dorgan writes, "What makes the ballot measure a
likely winner is private financing" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
3/19).

     The two stadium referenda on ballots today in Detroit and
Cincinnati are gaining national attention.  In a front-page piece
in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, John Helyar examines the sales tax
proposal before voters in OH, writing, "The volatile mixture of
sports, taxes and municipal self-image may make this vote as
close as any game the Reds or Bengals ever played" (WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 3/19).  In Philadelphia, Ed Moran covers both Detroit
and Cincinnati, noting that they are not alone:  "The battle is
being waged in cities around the country" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS,
3/19).
     DETROIT:  Stadium backers have spent $600,000 promoting
their message that a new Tiger Stadium would bring "jobs,
economic development, and money for more police and neighborhood
projects."  The test today is whether that message got through
(Suzette Hackney, DETROIT NEWS, 3/19).
     CINCINNATI:  A poll conducted last week showed 59% in favor
of a one-half of one-percent sales tax hike to help fund new
stadiums for both the Bengals and Reds (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,
3/16).  Yesterday, OH Gov. George Voinovich called the vote a
"defining moment" for Cincinnati.  He also said the state would
not help the Bengals move to Cleveland should the tax fail
(AP/CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/19).
     CORRECTIONS:  Stories in the March 7 and March 13 issues of
THE DAILY incorrectly reported developments in the Detroit
campaign.  The TV ads featuring Mayor Dennis Archer were put on
by stadium supporters, and the lawsuit filed by the anti-stadium
group, the Tiger Stadium Fan Club, concerns the use of money from
the quasi-public Michigan Strategic Fund, not the city of
Detroit.  We regret any confusion.