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Volume 24 No. 159

Facilities Venues

          NAME GAME: Naming rights will be sold to the Bandimere
     Speedway in Denver.  Speedway President/GM John Bandimere
     Jr. said "he has pitched the sale of naming rights to
     Pennzoil and Chrysler Corp. and is now testing further
     interest in a deal" (DENVER POST, 9/18).

          NFL VP/Communications Greg Aiello told THE DAILY
     yesterday that, contrary to reports, there is no dispute
     between the league and the Dolphins over rotating signage at
     Pro Player Stadium.  Aiello said a large rotating sign at
     Pro Player is "not a problem" because it is high enough and
     above the goal posts.  In addition, no letters have been
     sent from the league office to the Dolphins or team Owner
     Wayne Huizenga regarding the signage (THE DAILY). 

          Numbers are "finally being discussed that suggest how
     much taxpayers could be asked to contribute" to an East
     Valley domed stadium and National Sports Center, according
     to Lisa Gonderinger of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  A report by
     the East Valley Partnership says a quarter-cent sales tax
     could raise "as much as" $223M for the proposed center.  The
     report also listed "nine potential sites," to include a
     "campus-like collection of venues, with a retractable-roof
     dome over a stadium that could include both grass and ice
     surfaces" for the Cardinals and Coyotes.  It also includes a
     hotel, convention center, a sports-related theme park that
     would include the NFL Experience and Hall of Heroes, and a
     sports-entertainment center with shops and restaurants.  The
     report will now be taken to city officials in Mesa, Tempe,
     Scottsdale, Gilbert and Chandler to see whether they want to
     create a special stadium district to "hammer out further
     details of the project" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/19).  

          Patriots Owner Robert Kraft "is expected to head to
     Providence today to complete an accord that would bind the
     Patriots to negotiating exclusively" with RI for a stadium
     package, according to Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. 
     Talks "were expected" to go through the weekend with an
     announcement by RI Gov. Lincoln Almond planned for Monday. 
     One of the "sticking points" in the deal is "how an
     exclusivity agreement would be defined.  Almond wants Kraft
     to agree to stop pursuing a stadium proposal in [Foxboro]
     while he negotiates with Rhode Island."  Sources say Kraft
     "accepts the idea of an exclusivity clause but not one that
     is 'all encompassing'" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/19).  In Providence,
     Christopher Rowland reports that Almond was expected in West
     Springfield today, and he does not mention a potential
     meeting with Kraft.  Rowland adds that among issues yet to
     be resolved include: Financing and ownership of a stadium
     parking garage; development rights for a related hotel,
     sports museum, retail shops and restaurants that Kraft would
     build; and how the state would be protected if the team
     moves before stadium bonds are paid off.  An NFL source also
     tells Rowland that the future home of Kraft's MLS Revolution
     is part of the negotiations (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 9/19).
          ANARCHY: Patriots VP/Communications Don Lowery
     responded to comments made by MA House Speaker Thomas
     Finneran, who described Kraft as a "whining
     multimillionaire" seeking "bribes" to keep the team in MA.
     Lowery: "At a time when we would expect leadership from the
     State House in resolving this issue, all we have seen is
     character assassination and mudslinging."   But MA Acting
     Gov. Paul Cellucci called Kraft to say "he would try to
     quickly pass through the Legislature" a proposal to expand
     Foxboro Stadium (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/19).  In Boston, business
     writer Joan Vennochi: "The truth hurts, but here it is: Bob
     Kraft, more than anyone else, is the reason the [Patriots]
     appear to be moving. ... His team has many champions.  He
     doesn't."  Vennochi criticizes Kraft's lobbying efforts,
     adding that "he continued to get blitzed by the same
     defensive team" and while he "believed he could scramble
     past them ... he never could" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/19).