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).