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Volume 24 No. 160

Facilities Venues

          Workers at Three Rivers Stadium have "rejected" a
     "tentative" new three-year contract with the facility. 
     Despite the rejection, the union "has no plans to strike"
     April 7, the day of the Pirates' first home game (PITTSBURGH
     POST-GAZETTE, 3/23)....The NJ Sports & Exposition Authority
     has "approved a deal" which allows the MLS MetroStars to use
     grass over the Meadowlands' artificial turf until August 1
     (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/24)....An editorial in this morning's
     ST.PETE TIMES addresses problems at Tropicana Field: "[T]he
     bottom line is that the problems were extensive and
     inexcusable. [St.Pete] had three years to get ready."  The
     editorial says the "buck stops" with Devil Rays Managing
     General Partner Vince Naimoli who "demanded the right to
     manage Tropicana Field ... and with that right came the
     responsibility to be prepared for the remodeled stadium's
     first major event. ... [Devil Ray] fans should be
     forewarned. Tropicana Field will not be ready for the start
     of baseball, either.  Parts of the project probably won't be
     completed by the end of this season" (ST. PETE TIMES, 3/24).
     ...The Charlotte City Council has "delayed" a vote on the
     amended lease between the city and the Hornets.  One of the
     "major reasons" for the delay is the question over who will
     control the sale of naming rights to the facility (CHARLOTTE
     OBSERVER, 3/24)....Reds Managing CEO John Allen said he was
     "very optimistic" that the team will reach an agreement with
     Hamilton County on the location of a new downtown ballpark
     "in the next 30 days" (CINCINNATI POST, 3/23).

          Following "four hours of debate" yesterday, the CO
     House of Representatives decided that the Broncos "should
     get a shot at persuading voters next fall" to subsidize a
     new $350M football stadium, according to Dan Luzadder of the
     ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS.  The "hotly-contested" plan, which uses
     a .1% sales tax to build the stadium, "went through several
     evolutions" before a version passed the House.  A different
     version of the bill has been passed by the State Senate, and
     the disparities in the two versions "set the stage for a
     conference committee battle" (ROCKY MT. NEWS, 3/24).  In
     Denver, Peggy Lowe writes that the House bill "would expand"
     the six-county stadium taxing district to include all of, or
     sections of, four additional counties (DENVER POST, 3/24).
          ROCKY MOUNTAIN NOTES: Although naming rights to a new
     Broncos stadium still may be sold, the Mile High name "might
     be worth more than what a company would be willing to pay"
     for those rights, according to an examination of naming
     rights by Peggy Lowe of the DENVER POST.  Texas Stadium
     brings in an estimated $20M a year from endorsement deals,
     which is much more than an annual naming rights fee.  But,
     Lowe notes, "no one knows for sure if Mile High's name could
     be as lucrative as Texas Stadium's" (DENVER POST, 3/24).