Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 112
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.


     Hamilton County voters yesterday "overwhelmingly ratified" a
half-cent sales tax increase to build two new stadiums for the
Reds and Bengals, according to Michaud & Green of the CINCINNATI
ENQUIRER.  Despite poor weather, turnout was a record in a
primary election.  With close to all precincts reporting, Issue I
on the stadium tax led, 61% to 39%.  Bengals GM Mike Brown hugged
Reds Owner Marge Schott before addressing a pro-stadium rally and
called it the "greatest moment in my life."  OH Gov. George
Voinovich said citizens voted to "maintain Cincinnati as a major
league city."  The vote will raise the sales tax in Hamilton
County from 5.5% to 6% beginning June 1.  The tax would raise
around $50M each year, of which Hamilton County would use $35M a
year to build the stadiums.  The rest would fund property tax
relief.  The Bengals will pay $25-30M toward the estimated $170M
football stadium, while Schott is in discussions with officials
on their contribution.  Proponents say the total cost of the
project will hit $700M when interest payments are included, up
from preliminary estimates of $544.2M.  Hamilton County
Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus said work to complete the financing
for the stadium will begin immediately (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,
     TIGER BY THE TAIL?  As election day approached, "speculation
increased" the Bengals might move to Cleveland if the tax failed
(Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 3/20).  After the vote, Brown admitted
filling a 70,000-seat stadium and selling over 70 boxes will be
difficult.  Local economists are also "skeptical" the city's
corporate community will support both teams (Akron BEACON
JOURNAL, 3/20).