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Volume 24 No. 159

Facilities Venues

          MN Gov. Arne Carlson "is expected" to propose a dime
     increase in the cigarette tax to help pay for a new $354M
     Twins stadium, according to Robert Whereatt in the
     Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Carlson's staff refused comment,
     but said the Governor would announce a funding source
     Thursday in his "State of the State" message to the state
     Legislature. The state now collects 48 cents per cigarette
     pack, bringing in about $177M a year.  Another dime would
     generate about $33M more a year, according to the MN Revenue
     Dept (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/14).
          ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Twins began their 36th annual
     Winter Caravan, a three week trip to "drum up interest in
     the team all over Minnesota and in neighboring states,"
     according to John Millea in the STAR TRIBUNE.  This year's
     Caravan will also "sell Minnesotans on the importance of
     building a new stadium" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/14).

          The L.A. City Council's Ad Hoc Committee on the L.A.
     Arena Proposal unanimously approved a taxpayer-assisted,
     privately owned and operated arena project for downtown
     L.A., according to Jean Merl of the L.A. TIMES.  A City
     Council vote could come as early as Wednesday.  The proposal
     calls for the city to spend $70.5M to provide land.  City
     officials said they expect arena revenues, which include a
     ticket fee, to cover the taxpayers' cost of $6.8M a-year for
     25 years (L.A. TIMES, 1/14).

          The Heat spent $3.7M last year to defeat a referendum
     against their new arena on Biscayne Bay, and now the team
     wants to count that money as part of the cost of building
     the arena, according to Don Finefrock in the MIAMI HERALD. 
     Dade County, FL, "has said no, but the deal isn't final." 
     But, Raul Masvidal, the county's negotiator on the arena
     deal, says "all major differences have been resolved,"
     including whether to include the $3.7M in the cost of
     construction.  Masvidal: "We said no.  Plain and simple." 
     The Heat have declined to confirm an agreement.  Heat
     spokesperson Steve Watson: "We are still negotiating. ... We
     see that certainly as part of the project, we ought to share
     in those costs" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/14).

          The NCAA men's basketball committee is "refusing to
     consider" the Rose Garden in Portland, OR, as a potential
     site for a regional NCAA tournament round due to the state's
     legal sports action lottery game (Portland OREGONIAN, 1/11).
     ...In Philadelphia, Edward Moran looks at the state's
     Legislative session and it's role in stadium funding in PA. 
     Moran: "State participation in stadium development seems a
     long way off in the Legislature.  No new bills are within
     sight that would authorize forming a state sports authority. 
     No bipartisan committee to review [a state task force's]
     recommendations has been formed" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 1/14).