Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 157

Facilities Venues

          A "planned negotiating session" between RI Gov. Lincoln
     Almond's administration and the Patriots "fizzled yesterday
     amid signs of tension, but Almond nonetheless said he is
     sticking to his deadline of tomorrow to cut a Providence
     stadium deal," according to Christopher Rowland of the
     Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN.  Almond did not say what would
     happen if the deadline passes with no deal, but the Patriots
     said that "they were not going to rush their deliberations." 
     Sources familiar with the talks said that the Patriots "were
     frustrated by Almond's public call" for team Owner Robert
     Kraft to sign a "memorandum of understanding" by Friday. 
     The team "has expressed discomfort" with Almond's request
     that they "commit" to RI "and not entertain competing offer"
     from MA (Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 9/18). 
          IN BOSTON: If Kraft moves the team, "there apparently
     will be no hue and cry on Beacon Hill, and certainly far
     less than there was when he tried to relocate the team to
     South Boston," according to Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON GLOBE
     in a front-page analysis of the team's stadium saga.  One
     individual involved in the talks said a RI deal is "very
     realistic, both in terms of deal structure and in terms of
     timing."  The individual added Foxboro officials "can't get
     their act together ... Rhode Island is way ahead of them. 
     Kraft preferred to stay in [Foxboro], but saw no momentum or
     energy being created."  The GLOBE's Cassidy adds that Kraft
     "is now considering" bringing NASCAR racing to Foxboro to
     replace the team (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18).  A GLOBE editorial
     calls for MA Acting Gov. Paul Cellucci to "get behind a
     proposal that combines state aid" with the Foxboro plan
     (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18).  GLOBE media writer Howard Manly notes
     a move would have the team leaving the sixth-largest media
     market, with two million TV households, to the 46th-largest
     with about 600,000 TV households (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18).

          NEW YORK: Prospective Islanders Owners Steven
     Gluckstern and Howard Milstein met with Nassau County Exec
     Thomas Gulotta for "what both sides described as a
     constructive, get-to-know-each-other meeting" regarding the 
     possible development of the 70-acre site of the Nassau
     Coliseum (Ken Moritsugu, NEWSDAY, 9/18).
          INDIANAPOLIS: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS)
     President Tony George "said he believes it's possible a
     Formula One race could be held" at IMS before the end of
     '99.  George: "It would be an awfully big challenge, but
     it's feasible" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 9/18).

          The cost of renting a car in Harris County, TX, will
     increase 5% on October 1 after a tax was imposed Wednesday
     to help finance construction of Houston's new ballpark,
     according to John Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  The
     newly created Harris County/Houston Sports Authority imposed
     the tax one week after imposing a 2% The rental car tax was
     set "after board members got their first look at the latest
     design for a proposed retractable-roof baseball park the
     authority is expected to start building later this year." 
     Authority members and project architects "promised" that the
     stadium "will come in at no more" than $250M and open by
     April 1, 2000 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/18).

          Developers of a new downtown L.A. arena "vowed
     Wednesday to abandon their plans" if a proposed initiative
     requiring popular votes on publicly subsidized pro sports
     facilities qualifies for the ballot, according to Ted
     Rohrlich of the L.A. TIMES.  Rohrlich: "The statement
     represented a significant toughening of the developers'
     previous public position that they would probably abandon
     the project if the proposed initiative by Councilman Joel
     Wachs receives the 62,000 signatures it needs in the next
     four months to qualify for a spot on the ballot sometime
     next year.  The developers also indicated that they are
     willing to wage a publicity campaign to dissuade voters from
     signing the councilman's petitions."  Anschutz Corp.
     President Cannon Harvey: "We will certainly do what is
     necessary to make sure that Mr. Wachs' proposed initiative
     is well understood by the voters" (L.A. TIMES, 9/18).

          Detroit-based architecture firms Barton Malow Co. and
     Walbridge Aldinger Co., MI's "two largest construction
     firms," are "among finalists" to construct the Lions' new
     $225M stadium in downtown Detroit, according to Patricia
     Montemurri of the DETROIT FREE PRESS.  Officials "close to
     the negotiations" said that the two firms may "team up" to
     build the stadium.  The two firms "have worked with each
     other on some projects, but their collaboration rarely has
     taken the form of a joint partnership."  Turner Construction
     Co., which will oversee the Tigers' new ballpark, is also a
     finalist for the project (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/19).