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Volume 24 No. 112

Facilities Venues

          During today's second day of a special MN legislative
     session, Twins Owner Carl Pohlad will reveal "how deep he's
     willing to dig into his own pockets" to help the state build
     a new ballpark, according to Weiner & Whereatt of the
     Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Yesterday, Pohlad met with MN
     Gov. Arne Carlson and other state officials and was told
     that he "must make a substantial contribution" to any deal. 
     Several state officials had "challenged Pohlad to appear
     before the Legislature" following his full page ads that ran
     in yesterday's Twin Cities newspapers, in which he said he
     was "prepared to discuss the Twins contribution."  Weiner &
     Whereatt add that on Thursday, there "seemed to be no
     momentum for any stadium funding bill."  Both houses voted
     to break into committees "to hash out" ballpark plans, and
     planned "to reconvene" on Tuesday to settle the stadium
     debate "once and for all" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/24). 
     In St. Paul, Patrick Sweeney writes that some legislators
     said that "no matter how much" Pohlad offers to contribute,
     "it will not be enough" to convince the public and "wary"
     lawmakers (St. Paul PIONEER PRESS, 10/24).  PIONEER PRESS
     columnist Nick Coleman writes on Pohlad's contribution,
     adding, "The numbers most often bandied about were in the
     neighborhood of $150 million. ... Unless Pohlad comes up
     with that kind of money, the Legislature will have a hard
     time turning a deaf ear to the public. ... Either Mr. Pohlad
     ponies up big time, or the dream of a new ... baseball
     stadium goes down in flames" (PIONEER PRESS, 10/24). 

          The negotiations over the final agreement that will
     land the Hurricanes in their permanent home in Raleigh
     "could come to a close" today, with the team contributing
     $20M, according to Ned Glascock of the Raleigh NEWS &
     OBSERVER.  However, the "months" of talks "could come at a
     cost," as the $132M arena may end up being "months behind
     schedule."  Bob Ferguson, Exec VP of McDevitt Street Bovis,
     the construction management firm overseeing the project,
     said that instead of the scheduled opening in June of '99,
     the arena "might not be ready" until September of '99, which
     would be "just in time" for the Hurricanes opener and that
     of the NCSU basketball team (NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/24).

          Without a "surge" in PSL sales, Oakland and Alameda
     County "may have to spend" $11M to $16M this year to help
     make payments on the $230M Raiders' debt, according to Renee
     Koury of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS.  County Supervisor Mary
     King: "We're now talking about money that comes from
     taxpayers.  It's no longer money that's coming out of
     (revenues from) the deal.  This is now money that comes out
     of police, fire, welfare and hospitals."  On Thursday,
     officials reported that the Oakland Football Marketing
     Association, after recording "poor sales," already has spent
     $1.5M in the first three months of this FY -- which is
     $500,000 more than the marketing budget for the entire year. 
     Koury reports that "the beleaguered agency wants an
     additional $425,000 for the next two months, and about"
     $1.5M for the following six months.  Koury adds that the
     authority "is skittish about giving the agency any cash
     because sales haven't improved in spite of spending nearly"
     $14M so far on marketing (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/24).

          The MD Stadium Authority has put its plans to put a
     $253,000, four-ton raven on top of the Ravens new downtown
     football stadium "on hold," according to Jon Morgan of the
     Baltimore SUN.  MSA Chair John Moag had said that he "hoped"
     the Ravens could contribute "at least" $50,000 to the
     project, but yesterday Moag and MSA Exec Dir Bruce Hoffman
     said that they "hope the team or a corporate sponsor" can
     cover the entire cost of the project.  Hoffman: "Our budget
     is tight.  Until we get the funding, we can't go forward." 
     Ravens VP/PR Kevin Byrne said that the team is looking into
     the costs and benefits of the statue (Baltimore SUN, 10/24).

          Warriors officials said Wednesday that the City of
     Oakland was "misinformed" when it was told the public would
     not have access to the team's new training facility,
     according to Stacey Wells of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  The city
     contributed $1M to the $7M facility, which opened October 9. 
     Warriors Legal Counsel Robin Baggett said that an agreement
     between the team and the city allows Oakland to use
     basketball courts "for conventions," and youth basketball
     clinics "can and will be held at the site."  But Kent Sims,
     Oakland's Deputy Dir of Community & Economic Development,
     said that despite the deal, the city cannot use the training
     center because it "was built without an adequate public
     entrance and exit, public restrooms," or a storage area for
     a temporary floor cover.  Baggett said that a public
     entrance was built and will open in December.  But he said
     the city is responsible for public restrooms and storage for
     the protective floor cover (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 10/23).