D'BACKS NEW PARK AHEAD OF SCHEDULE; COLANGELO GETS PROOFED
In Phoenix, D'Backs officials say that Bank One
Ballpark "is on schedule," and they "are confident" that the
retractable roof and "grow-in-the-dark grass" will be ready
for the first exhibition game on March 29, according to Bill
Muller of the AZ REPUBLIC. The $354M stadium "is scheduled
to be finished with at least three weeks to spare." The
roof and grass "present significant hurdles," as both are
the "first of their kind." D'Backs officials "are being
closemouthed" about when the roof will be tested, as they
"want to avoid" a "media circus" (AZ REPUBLIC, 11/23).
TAXING THOUGHTS: D'Backs CEO Jerry Colangelo "has
decided to install bulletproof glass" in the windows of his
Bank One Ballpark office, according to Eric Miller of the
ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Miller called this, and other security
measures, "grim echoes of a 3-year old political decision"
to approve a quarter-cent sales tax to build the ballpark.
The tax will sunset November 30, six months to a year ahead
of schedule, and "will end up harvesting more than its
allotted" $238M, with extra revenue being used for stadium
repairs or renovations. The 2 1/2-year tax, which cost the
average taxpayer "an estimated $25 a year," helped "cause
the defeat of two politicians and propel another into a race
for governor, and it has been blamed for the shooting" of a
county supervisor. AZ State Univ. Professor Dorothy Evans
said that at "the heart is anger" over the decision to enact
the tax without a public vote. Colangelo, on installing
bulletproof glass: "We live in a day and age where you have
to take a lot of precautions" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/23).