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Volume 24 No. 112

Facilities Venues

          The Tigers are collecting $25,000 down payments for
     luxury boxes at their new stadium, even though Opening Day
     is almost two years away, according to Mark Puls of the
     DETROIT NEWS.  The team has already leased 32 suites and
     expects to have 50 leased in the next few weeks.  The
     stadium will have 106 boxes, including 94 leased ones.  The
     other 12 will be held by the city and the Tigers.  Tigers
     VP/Business Operations David Glazier: "We are ahead of where
     Seattle was at this point and where Milwaukee was in leasing
     their suites."  Boxes range from $75,000 to $125,000
     (DETROIT NEWS, 5/27).  The Tigers plan to keep 10 suites for
     day-of-game rentals (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/27).  

          The Expos "filed papers last week" with the city of
     Montreal to develop a 1.4-million-square-foot property that
     is adjacent to their proposed site for a new ballpark,
     according to Basem Boshra of the Montreal GAZETTE.  The
     team's plan calls for construction of "three high-rise
     buildings" that would include a hotel, stores and offices as
     well as residential apartments.  The buildings would be
     located "just beyond the park's right-field fence."  Expos'
     VP/Development Laurier Carpentier said that any development
     "could be as much as 10 years away" (GAZETTE, 5/27). 

          N.Y. STORIES: NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani "will consider
     leading a campaign to abolish term limits for City Council
     members" if Council Speaker Peter Vallone "drops his drive
     for a referendum on a new Yankee Stadium (N.Y. TIMES, 5/24). 
     Former NY Gov. Mario Cuomo, who is working as an unpaid
     advisor to Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, wrote an op-ed
     in the DAILY NEWS under the header "Don't Drive Yanks to New
     Jersey."  He called on city leaders not to rush a referendum
     without the proper study  (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/26).
          OTHER NOTES: Dover Downs Entertainment, parent of Dover
     Downs Speedway and Nashville Speedway USA, is listed among
     BUSINESS WEEK's "Hot Growth Companies."  Due to its "booming
     gaming and motor-sports business at its Dover Downs Complex,
     it has racked up average annual revenue and earnings growth
     of 99.8% and 70.9%, respectively, over the past three years"
     (BUSINESS WEEK, 6/1 issue)...In Chicago, "leading developers
     have dismissed" Bears Owner Michael McCaskey's "talk" of a
     new stadium and hotel/convention center in Elk Grove Village
     outside the city and say "he'll be forced to meet" city
     Mayor Richard Daley's "demand for a lease extension" at
     Soldier Field (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/24)....In Miami, Cindy
     Krischer Goodman compared the arena deals in Miami and
     Broward County and wrote that Wall Street investors "were
     wowed by just how strong sales" of the Heat's new arena's
     luxury suites have been.  The Heat "is well on its way" to
     rasing more than $13M a year from luxury seating, "double
     the average for a typical single-sports arena."  Aaron
     Barman, Managing Dir of Prudential Securities, which placed
     the $185M in bonds: "We are impressed by the strong levels
     of commitments almost two years before the building is open"
     (MIAMI HERALD, 5/23).  In Ft. Lauderdale, Alan Snel wrote
     that the bond placement is "notable' for its 27-year term
     and 6.7% annual interest -- the lowest rate on record for
     any modern arena (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 5/24).

          The Broncos spent almost $62,000 to win passage of a
     bill authorizing a vote on a new football stadium during
     this year's legislative session, according to Peggy Lowe of
     the DENVER POST.  The money paid for 13 "high-powered
     lobbyists" who worked to get measure SB 171 approved by the
     General Assembly.  The "primary" lobbyist for the Broncos,
     Bill Artist, reported $5,000 in income from the Broncos for
     the four-month session, while Porter Wharton III, "the most
     visible of the Broncos lobbyists," reported $33,950 from the
     team during the session.  The law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt,
     Farber & Strickland reported billing the Broncos $22,748,
     not counting April records (DENVER POST, 5/23).

          The Pacers on Friday announced a 20-year naming rights
     agreement to its new Fieldhouse arena with IN-based Conseco,
     Inc.  The 18,500-seat Conseco Fieldhouse will open for the
     '99-2000 season (Conseco).  In Indianapolis, Sean Horgan
     reported that the insurance and financial services company
     has agreed to pay the Pacers $2M a year for the next 20
     years.  The deal includes a "reopener clause," which allows
     the Pacers to review the $2M annual fee after 10 years "in
     relation to the value of naming rights for athletic
     facilities across the country."  Conseco also holds right of
     first refusal, giving it the opportunity to retain the
     naming rights beyond the life of the current deal.  Conseco
     Chair Stephen Hilbert: "I think it's going to be one of the
     best bangs for our dollar" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 5/23).

          The Stars and Mavericks chose DC-based architect David
     Schwarz to design Dallas' new $230M downtown sports arena,
     according to Joy Dickinson of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. 
     Schwarz designed The Ballpark in Arlington and Disney's
     World of Sports complex in FL.  Stars Owner Tom Hicks said
     some of the other preliminary designs "were a little too
     futuristic" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/26).  But a "losing
     architect" said that arena developers did an "about-face" in
     picking a design with a "historical rather than modernistic
     feel."   William Pederson, of Kohn Pederson Fox: "If that's
     what they wanted, they should've told us that upfront"
     (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/27).  Also in Dallas, architectural
     writer David Dillon criticized the selection and wrote that
     Schwarz "presented another piece of lick-and-stick
     architecture that will make thoughtful observers wonder
     whether Dallas can even spell 'millennium'" (David Dillon,
     DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/26).