A new Broncos stadium "could be called Mile High, would
not have a retractable roof dome, and a fourth of the cost
would be paid by team owner Pat Bowlen under a bill approved
by a House committee Monday night," according to Peggy Lowe
of the DENVER POST. As the bill now stands, Bowlen would
have to pay for 25% of the stadium, which he estimated will
cost at least $340M without a dome. Previously, Bowlen's
cost was capped at $100M. Under the present bill, the
amount of taxpayer subsidy is unchanged, at $266M. The
measure, already approved by the Senate, would extend a six-
county 0.1% sales tax, already in place for Coors Field, to
2018 (DENVER POST, 3/17). In CO Springs, Mary Boyle
reported that the committee also voted to retain the name
Mile High Stadium, "despite the fact that selling the naming
rights could save taxpayers as much as" $20M. Boyle added
that the bill still "faces more controversy on the House
floor" (GAZETTE TELEGRAPH, 3/17). In Denver, Chuck Green
writes that the House "should be proud" of the committee's
decision to require Bowlen to pay one fourth of the
construction costs, "since that is a practical way of
limiting extravagant spending." Green adds that the total
project "is likely to cost in excess of" $500M "and probably
more than" $600M (Chuck Green, DENVER POST, 3/18).
Phoenix "likely will provide shuttle buses" for the
Diamondbacks, but "won't be footing the bill," according to
Chris Fiscus of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Under a compromise
reached Tuesday, corporate dollars would fund the cost --
about $20,000 per month -- to operate buses on game days for
two or three months. Fiscus writes that the deal "would
replace a controversial plan that called for a city-funded
shuttle" for the team. The City Council will vote on the
bus plan today. Fiscus adds that the city "balked" at a
plan submitted Tuesday by Southwest Charter Lines to provide
shuttle transportation, "because of its cost and because the
city could not provide the buses without going out for bid."
Southwest today will submit an updated bid without asking
for use of the city buses (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/18).
The Tigers officially announced a deal with Tokyo-based
Sumitomo Bank to finance their new ballpark. Sumitomo will
fully underwrite the $145M transaction (Tigers). The Tigers
"pledged control of" the new stadium and the projected
revenues it will generate as collateral to secure the loan
from Sumitomo (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/18)....MA House Speaker
Thomas Finneran yesterday said that he "opposed a Senate
plan to help" the Patriots build a new stadium in Foxboro
"unless the state received part ownership of the stadium,
related commercial development, or the team itself."
Finneran: "[T]here's not a great deal of support or
sentiment in the House for the gift of $20 million in
exchange for a piece of land that we're not then able to use
for '99 years" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/18).
Pirates Managing General Partner Kevin McClatchy "wowed
a crowd of Pittsburgh notables" with his model of a new
ballpark, "but shed little light on the team's contribution"
to its $203M cost, according to Rich Lord of the Pittsburgh
TRIBUNE-REVIEW. McClatchy said he was "extremely confident"
that the stadium will be completed by Opening Day, 2001. The
team is aiming for a groundbreaking in 14 months. Though the
team will only sign a 25- to 30-year lease, McClatchy
predicted the park "would keep baseball in Pittsburgh for
another 111 years" if the team, state, city of Pittsburgh
and Allegheny County can "formalize a suitable financing
agreement." McClatchy: "The money's not in the bank yet."
Pirates VP/New Ballpark Development & Comm. Steve Greenberg
said that the team is negotiating naming rights with "at
least two" local companies, including PNC Bank. Plans for
the new 38,000-seat ballpark include 64 luxury suites, 540
Field Club seats (with access to a private lounge), 2,260
upper club seats, with an average ticket price of $15 and
10,000 seats priced under $10 (PITT. TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/18).
REAX: In Pittsburgh, Kim Burger writes that "skepticism
was the sentiment all over" the city on Tuesday (TRIBUNE-
REVIEW, 3/18). Columnist Bob Smizik: "It has been some time
since the baseball future of the region looked so promising"
(PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/17).