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Volume 24 No. 112

Facilities Venues

          "Nobody in Olympia [WA] is enthusiastic about the
     prospects" of Paul Allen's chances for success with the
     Seahawks new stadium, according to Ed Penhale in the SEATTLE
     POST-INTELLIGENCER.  Allen, who has an exclusive option to
     buy the Seahawks, wants something "like what the Mariners
     got -- a package of specialty taxes aimed at fans and
     tourists to finance bonds," covering the bulk of the cost of
     the stadium project.  But Allen "is making it easier" for
     lawmakers to consider his proposal by calling for a public
     vote on a funding package for football, as well as putting
     up $100M of his own money for the project.  But legislative
     leaders said there is "no chance" they will look at Seahawk
     stadium funding if the Mariner ballpark plan remains
     unresolved (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 1/13).  Elliott
     Almond of the SEATTLE TIMES wrote on the Seahawks stadium
     under the header "Legislators Are Ready to Punt on 'Hawks
     Stadium."  Almond: "In a climate vastly different than the
     fall of 1995, when lawmakers approved special taxes to fund
     a ballpark after the Mariners won the American League West
     in dramatic fashion, the temperature is as cold as the
     winter weather" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/10).  

          Commitments for private suites at the new Bengals
     stadium have hit 60, putting the program 75% towards its
     April 30 sales target.  The agreement between the Bengals
     and Hamilton County specifies that 80 private suites must be
     leased by April 30 (Bengals).  The 12-seat suites, available
     in six, eight and ten-year leases with annual price
     increases of 3-5%, range from $45-$134,000. The price will
     cover the cost of tickets and parking, but not food
     (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/12).  Columnist Tim Sullivan, noting
     the suite sales: "The last loophole that would allow
     [Bengals Owner] Mike Brown to take his team to Cleveland is
     slowly being shut" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/12).

          An "inexpensive line fuse" burned out during play of
     the AFC Championship game yesterday, and play was suspended
     for eleven minutes due to darkness, according to Kevin Paul
     Dupont of the BOSTON GLOBE.  The power outage "could only
     add fuel" to Patriots Owner Robert Kraft's bid for a new
     stadium (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/13).  Kraft, on the incident:
     "You're not thinking that we set this up to happen this
     way?" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/12).  NBC's Greg Gumbel noted
     Kraft's stadium pursuit during the delay: "What has been Bob
     Kraft's big move here in New England?  He wants a new
     stadium for these Patriots.  What better argument could he
     have?"  NBC's Cris Collinsworth: "You don't suppose he
     turned the lights out do you?" ("NFL on NBC," NBC, 1/12).

          San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory said the city "has
     no intention of halting construction" at Jack Murphy 
     Stadium, despite "growing community opposition and second
     thoughts by some council members," according to Barry Bloom
     of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE.  City Council is scheduled
     to discuss pending litigation against the expansion Tuesday. 
     In recent days, "doubts about the expansion have been voiced
     by many council members," and Councilmember Judy McCarty
     said the expansion plan should be put to a vote.  McGrory:
     "If I thought what we were doing was illegal, I would have
     never given the green light for construction to begin."  The
     council recently passed an $18M amendment to the original
     $60M expansion deal, and former Councilmember Bruce
     Henderson is leading a referendum drive aimed at placing the
     $18M amendment on the ballot.  On Thursday, he filed "the
     last of more than 60,000 signatures collected in the last
     month."  He has also filed a suit asking a judge to decide
     if the referendum should include the whole $78M project. The
     lawsuit also "seeks to halt the project" while the
     referendum is pending (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/11). 

          "Faced with a realization that today's Mariner-imposed
     deadline can't be met," the Seattle City Council has asked
     the team for more time to come up with a financial
     compromise, according to Heath Foster of the SEATTLE POST-
     INTELLIGENCER.  Councilmember Sue Donaldson said team
     officials would let her know this morning.  A majority of
     the council would not support a proposal to use "no more
     than $500,000 a year of city tax revenue" to pay for game-
     day traffic control and cleanup when the team moves to its
     new stadium in '99.  The M's gave the city until today to
     come up with a plan to handle game-day costs and team owners
     said the alternative was to put the team up for sale.  The
     20-year ballpark lease signed before Christmas gives either
     side the right to terminate the lease if a deal isn't
     reached by today (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 1/13).

          Due to delays in choosing a site, the proposed new L.A.
     arena to be shared by the Kings and Lakers won't be ready to
     open in the fall of '99, as originally planned.  The arena
     will likely open in the summer of 2000 (L.A. TIMES, 1/11).
     ....In Minneapolis, Jay Weiner examines the formation of the
     Twins stadium proposal last week.  Weiner: "The business
     relationship between [Metropolitan Sports Facilities
     Commission Chair Henry] Savelkoul and [Twins Owner] Carl
     Pohlad intensified as they became friends. ...The Twins'
     cash contribution rose.  A  concept to have the state buy
     out the Pohlads was agreed upon.  A level of comfort had
     arrived"  (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/12)....The Oakland-
     Alameda County Coliseum Authority "refused" to turn over $1M
     to the Oakland Football Marketing Association. Instead, they
     transferred $500,000 to the OFMA with a promise to consider
     making additional public funds available within 45 days (SAN
     JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/10).