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Volume 24 No. 157

Facilities Venues

     Turner Broadcasting System officials are looking at
alternative sites, including land around Centennial Olympic Park,
for a new Hawks arena should negotiations with Norfolk Southern
Railroad break down, according to Maria Saporta of the ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION.  Turner's focus has been on acquiring a nearby
gulch property to build a new arena so that the team can continue
to play in the Omni during construction.  But Turner and the city
are "being forced to look at other options because they are as
much as" $15M apart in their negotiations with the Norfolk
Southern.  The Centennial Park site is not as close to MARTA
stations as the gulch site and would not have enough space for an
arena and 2,000 parking spaces (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/14).

     While talk of a new West Side Yankee Stadium has dominated
attention recently, the Mets are "quietly" completing plans for a
$457M, 40,000-seat facility designed to "evoke historic Ebbets
Field," according to Charles Bagli of the N.Y. OBSERVER.  The
proposed ballpark would be built on a city-owned parking lot
within 100 feet of Shea Stadium, which would be torn down.  It
would include a "state-of-the-art" retractable roof, an "ocean"
of parking, and be designed to allow passers-by a "visual link"
to the field through a low right field wall opening onto a
pedestrian concourse along the street.  Consultants planning the
stadium include architect Jack Gordon, who devised the $35M
renovation of Shea Stadium in '88, and K.C.-based firm HOK.  A
joint city-Mets study on the ballpark's viability will be
completed in July (N.Y. OBSERVER, 6/17).
     RACE FOR CASH:  Thus far, in "sharp contrast" to the
possible Yankees' move, the Mets' stadium plans have been
"embraced" by local political leaders -- who note the park would
cost less than half of what the Yankees are asking.  Queens
Borough President Claire Shulman, on Mets President Fred Wilpon:
"We're happy to have him.  He is a straightforward, low-key
gentleman.  He doesn't have the theatrics and personality of
[Yankees Owner George] Steinbrenner, which invites all kinds of
negative feelings."  But Bagli notes that both Wilpon and
Steinbrenner are "inextricably linked" to each other in what may
be a "zero-sum game" to obtain taxpayer dollars -- because at a
combined cost of $1.5B, the city cannot afford two new stadiums.
Bagli:  "The first one to get any funding may get it all" (N.Y.
OBSERVER, 6/17).

     The American Institute of Architects is reviving a 1990 plan
that would create "a large, park-like setting" for the new Ravens
stadium, which has been criticized by many as "run-of-the-mill,"
according to Marcia Myers of the Baltimore SUN.  The design is
described as a "coastal park" and aims to create an environment
"smoothly connecting" the stadium to an urban neighborhood.
Ravens spokesperson Kevin Byrne said the team "would welcome any
suggestions that would help the area" but is concerned about
building "in a timely fashion" (Baltimore SUN, 6/14).

     Only five of 13 stadium board members were on record
Thursday as favoring a new financing plan for a new Brewers
stadium.  The plan needs eight votes to pass (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-
SENTINEL, 6/14)....S.F. Giants officials are formulating a plan
that would allow 5,000 cars to be parked in a development south
of the China Basin channel but admitted parking during weekday
games, when downtown businesses are functioning, would be tight
at their proposed new facility (S.F. EXAMINER, 6/13)....The VA
Stadium Authority has discouraged all counties outside Northern
VA from applying to build a new stadium.  This was in response to
a bid from officials in Prince George County, VA, south of
Richmond (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/14)....BOSTON GLOBE business writer
Joan Vennochi notes people in Boston who are "angling for a
chance to represent" the Red Sox in their bid for a new ballpark.
Despite hearing from Mayor Tom Menino and his top aids who
believe the Sox need to get help from a development team, Red Sox
President John Harrington "is more likely to do it himself"