St. Petersburg officials have put together a $7.2M
package to ensure Tropicana Field renovations are completed
by a March 1 construction deadline, according to David
Rogers in the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. The move comes as the
"renovation to prepare" Tropicana Field for MLB "is being
threatened by cost overruns and increasingly bitter disputes
among" project architects, contractors and the Devil Rays.
In addition to the "cash infusion, the package is designed
to keep the project moving ahead." No fault will be
determined "until the end of the project, when a mediator
will review disputes" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/11).
While "stiff opposition" to public financing of a
major-league ballpark "persists," 44% of registered voters
polled in Guilford and Forsyth, NC, counties now say they
would vote for a prepared-foods tax to raise $140M toward
stadium construction costs, according to Justin Catanos of
the Greensboro NEWS & RECORD. But 48% said they would vote
against it and 8% remain undecided. The poll, of 405
voters, was conducted for the NEWS & RECORD by Piedmont
Opinion last week and had a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. It
"suggests that if the referendum were held today, the
outcome would be too close to call." A June survey showed
36% in favor, 58% opposed and 5% undecided. Of those
surveyed last week, 31% said the possibility of getting the
Twins would make them more likely to support the stadium
tax, while 59% said it would have no effect. Also, the tax
is "far more popular with African Americans than Caucasians,
more popular with men than women and more popular with
registered voters under age 35" (NEWS & RECORD, 10/12).
A new poll shows that MA voters "oppose spending tax
dollars" to help the Patriots in their "quest to renovate
Foxboro Stadium," by a ratio of more than 2 to 1, according
to Scot Lehigh of the BOSTON GLOBE. The survey of 530
registered voters, conducted October 4-8, was commissioned
by Suffolk Univ.'s Beacon Hill Institute, and conducted by
Clark Univ.'s Public Affairs Research Center. It has a
margin of error of +/- 4%. The survey noted that the State
Legislature "was debating" whether to issue state-backed
bonds, which "may cost taxpayers as much as" $80M to help
the Patriots renovate Foxboro Stadium. Data showed that 63%
of respondents opposed "such a public expense, compared to"
30% who favored it; 7% "were unsure or had no opinion."
Patriots VP/Communications Don Lowery dismissed the poll,
saying "it failed to provide respondents even basic
information on the proposal" that (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/12).
Rockets Owner Les Alexander asked Houston City Council
members yesterday "to postpone" a vote to rename The Summit,
according to John Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.
Alexander's lobbyist, Bill Miller, said that Alexander "is
concerned" how the deal could affect the team's 24 corporate
sponsors that have arena ad rights during NBA games. Miller
said that the Rockets "know virtually nothing about the
deal" between Arena Management Corp. and Compaq Computer
Corp. "aside from media reports." Councilmember Rob Todd
said that "unless more information is provided," the issues
could be postponed for a week (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/14).
The San Antonio Sports Foundation and the Greater San
Antonio Chamber of Commerce "are primed" to launch surveys
"to gauge public support for the construction of a new
multipurpose arena" (S.A. EXPRESS-NEWS, 10/11)....In Akron,
David Adams examined construction of Cleveland's new
football stadium in light of cost overruns incurred by
Gateway Corp. with Jacobs Field and Gund Arena. Mayor
Michael White, on staying within the $247M budget: "We have
been relentless with the architect. We have been relentless
with the engineer. We have been relentless with the owner's
representative. We have been relentless with the
construction manager" (BEACON JOURNAL, 10/12).