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).