The city of Denver and Ascent Entertainment "are just
'inches away' from finalizing a deal" on the proposed Pepsi
Center, according to Kevin Flynn of the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS.
Flynn: "Ascent wants something in writing today saying the
deal is imminent, and it appears the firm will get it"
(ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 10/29). Also in Denver, Stephen
Keating writes that, although "time is running out," both
sides said that a final pact "is close at hand." Still
being discussed is how much control the city will have over
the arena and the teams "if something goes wrong" over the
25-year life of the lease. Although Ascent Chair Charlie
Lyons is "measured and careful" on the record, Keating
writes that "[p]rivately, he is agitated." Lyons claims
that if the city does not respond positively by 5:00pm
today, the lack of a deal "will force" Ascent to "make good
on" a $140M loan from NationsBank. Keating: "Ascent said
that if it cannot tell NationsBank by Friday that the Pepsi
Center is a done deal, the company will be forced to
refinance or 'sell assets'" (DENVER POST, 10/29).
Nashville stadium officials said that two hundred
barrels of toxic waste found on the fringes of the Oilers'
stadium site "shouldn't hold up progress" on the $292M
facility (NASHVILLE BANNER, 10/27)....The L.A. City Council
voted 12-1 on final approval for the new downtown sports
arena. The action "paves the way for developers to secure
financing and begin preliminary work on the project."
Construction could begin in January (L.A. TIMES, 10/29).
The Minnesota House and Senate yesterday "rejected
every effort" to finance a new Twins ballpark, according to
Whereatt & Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Although
legislators agreed to reconvene November 13 for "a last-gasp
effort," Whereatt & Weiner write that Tuesday's action
leaves the ballpark "push in a shambles." The Senate did
pass one proposal, allowing MN Gov. Arne Carlson to
negotiate a sale of the team by January, at which point
stock in the franchise "would then be offered." However,
even that bill's sponsor, State Sen. Roy Terwilliger
"acknowledged" that it was "merely a vehicle to keep the
stadium effort alive." State Rep. Ann Rest, a ballpark
supporter: "We were severely rejected" (Minneapolis STAR
TRIBUNE, 10/29). In St. Paul, Ragsdale & Sweeney write that
the Legislature sent a "clear message to the Twins on
Tuesday: If you want a new stadium, build it yourself"
(PIONEER PRESS, 10/29). Twins Exec VP Kirby Puckett spoke
to a crowd of "several hundred" Twins fans who rallied for a
new ballpark at the State Capitol, but the STAR TRIBUNE's
Conrad de Fiebre writes, "at best, the results were mixed"
(STAR TRIBUNE, 10/29).
IN NC: Don Beaver, who heads the ownership group that
is attempting to purchase the Twins, said that if the NC
Triad doesn't approve next May's referendum concerning
funding for a $210M ballpark, he "would look toward
Charlotte," according to Stan Olson of the CHARLOTTE
OBSERVER. Beaver, who "expects" the May vote to win
approval, said "[i]f the Triad vote fails, Charlotte would
certainly be next in our plans" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/29).