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Volume 24 No. 115

Facilities Venues

          In his first public comments on the new Browns stadium
     "in four months," Cleveland Mayor Michael White "seemed to
     acknowledge that cost overruns on the publicly financed
     stadium project appear likely," according to David Adams of
     the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL.  White: "Is there a possibility
     that we have to develop strategies to deal with an overrun? 
     Yes there is. ... Do we know today how large that overrun
     will be or what the source of the fix will be?  No, we
     don't."  After rejecting the lowest bid for the stadium's
     electrical work late last year, which was $9M more "than
     expected," White "seemed to indicate that the new round of
     electrical bids -- starting next month -- may not fare much
     better" (David Adams, AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/22).

          The idea of "rebuilding and expanding Fenway Park
     gathered steam yesterday, with a statewide poll showing
     overwhelming support for the Red Sox to stay put and the
     formation of a new grass-roots group determined to preserve"
     the ballpark, according to Anthony Flint of the BOSTON
     GLOBE.  The team "continued to deny" that it was "giving
     serious consideration to any such plan."  A spokesperson
     said talk of a redesign was "very premature."  In related
     news, a poll of 400 registered voters by the Beacon Hill
     Institute at Suffolk Univ. showed that 58% of respondents
     statewide supported the team staying at Fenway, while "only"
     20% favored a new park.  Also yesterday, a group of fans,
     residents and business execs formed Save Fenway Park! and
     said they planned to issue a report soon on the viability of
     expanding Fenway (Anthony Flint, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/22).

          The MD Stadium Authority (MSA), which is building a
     $220M stadium for the Ravens next to Oriole Park at Camden
     Yards, "may not need as much money as it thought," according
     to Jon Morgan of the Baltimore SUN.  The MSA is "consuming"
     $32M a year in lottery funds, and the "financial plan has
     always assumed a gradual reduction in the need for lottery
     money."  MSA Exec Dir Bruce Hoffman said that "reduction is
     now projected to begin in fiscal year 2000 and possibly
     reach zero as soon as 2013."  Morgan writes that projected
     revenues "are stronger than expected from parking, party
     rentals at the stadiums, rental of office space in the
     warehouse adjacent to Oriole Park, and of the baseball
     museum scheduled to be built at Camden Station" (SUN, 1/22).

          Mavs Owner Ross Perot Jr. has gained control of a "key
     tract of land" near the planned sports arena site, "leaving
     only a handful of small parcels in the area that could face
     city condemnation," according to Robert Ingrassia of the
     DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Perot's Hillwood Development Corp.
     signed a contract to buy 8.5 acres north of the arena site,
     and is "seeking about 7 additional acres for parking west of
     the arena."  In addition, the official election results were
     released on Wednesday.  The arena plan received 62,880
     votes, while 61,238 voted against it (MORNING NEWS, 1/22).