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Volume 24 No. 156
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          The Patriots could sign a "tentative deal" to move the
     team to RI "as early as today," according to Tina Cassidy of
     the BOSTON GLOBE.  Sources close to the deal tell Cassidy
     that RI's proposed contribution to help the team build a new
     stadium has increased to "as much as" $157M, "far above" the
     $80-120M first projected.  Cassidy's sources also say that
     the deal "would prohibit" team Owner Robert Kraft "from
     negotiating with any other community, including" Foxboro,
     although "it was not clear" whether there was a time limit
     on the exclusivity clause.  Cassidy adds that a bill being
     put together by Foxboro officials "now includes only" $50M
     in infrastructure improvements around Foxboro Stadium
     (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/23). In Providence, Scott MacKay reports
     that RI Gov. Lincoln Almond "will likely decide sometime
     this afternoon" whether to go ahead with the negotiations or
     "conclude that the stadium deal asks too much of state
     taxpayers and opt out."  MacKay also reports that Kraft has
     asked that a deal with Foxboro "be sweetened by about" $20M,
     with the extra money being used by the state to purchase
     land around Foxboro stadium.  The state would then "lease it
     back" to the team (Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 9/23).
          DOUBLE TAKE? Almond's administration "acknowledged
     yesterday" that the annual payments on the state's reported
     $135M share of the deal "would come from" its general fund,
     according to Christopher Rowland of the Providence JOURNAL-
     BULLETIN.  RI State Senate Majority Leader Paul Kelly "is
     calling for a nonbinding referendum" on the stadium, while
     State House Finance Committee Chair Antonio Pires said the
     deal seems to "fly in the face" of Almond's pledge not to
     expose taxpayers to risk (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 9/23).