The Stade de France, the new sports stadium in Paris
built for the World Cup, will issue an asset-backed bond to
refinance part of its $434M construction costs. The bond
will be "secured against the takings on future gate
receipts" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/23)....In Cincinnati, Skyline
Chili is looking to encourage Cincinnati-area companies to
raise $3M in '99 to help fund a Reds museum that would be
"built in the new stadium" (CINCINNATI POST, 6/23)....In
Raleigh, a NEWS & OBSERVER editorial called on all future
meetings between the Hurricanes and the local governing
authority on cost overruns at the new arena to be held in
public. The team is asking for certain concessions in
exchange for covering cost overruns and the editorial
stated, "Let the building's major investors, the people of
this region and state, see just what the team is demanding"
(Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/23)....Nationwide Realty
Investors and partners are "considering" $30-40M in
development adjacent to the new Nationwide Arena, currently
under construction in Columbus (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 6/23).
Broward County, FL, commissioners voted to "freeze" $9M
to cover back wages owed to construction workers on the NHL
Panthers' new arena, according to Meg James of the MIAMI
HERALD. At issue is "at least" $6M in back wages "owed to
construction workers" due to insufficient wages. The move
"leaves" $7M in county money available for the Panthers to
complete construction of the $184.5M arena, which is "edging
closer" to $200M. Broward Finance Dir Phil Allen said that
Arena Development Co. is "lining up" a $10M bank loan "to
complete the project after the county money dries up this
summer." Commissioners said they "needed to move quickly to
prevent the depletion of the remaining" $16M in the
construction budget (Meg James, MIAMI HERALD, 6/24).
The administration of MD Gov. Parris Glendening
"defended its optimistic predictions about the economic
benefits" of the Ravens' new stadium, disputing a recent
"legislative report that says the projections are
exaggerated," according to Charles Babington of the
WASHINGTON POST. Acting Secretary of the Department of
Business & Economic Development James Fielder said that the
legislative report "underestimates the ongoing economic and
fiscal impacts of the proposed Baltimore stadium."
Babington reports that the stadium's economic influence "has
been a touchy political subject" since '96 when Glendening
"fought hard" to gather support for publicly-financed $220M
stadium. In assessing the economic impact, Babington
reports that the two sides "differ" on the degree to which
the stadium-related spending would occur elsewhere if the
stadium didn't exist and on the size of the subsequent
"multiplier effect" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/24).
Red Sox Exec VP & GM Dan Duquette addressed the Greater
Boston Chamber of Commerce yesterday and said the team has a
"spectacular plan" for a new ballpark which they will unveil
"once we have our ducks in a row," according to Joan
Vennochi of the BOSTON GLOBE. Duquette "did rule out the
idea of rebuilding Fenway Park." Red Sox Exec
VP/Administration John Buckley said there was "no fixed
date" to announce the ballpark plan. Vennochi: "The Sox
still seem far from prepared to unveil anything close to a
final proposal. ... In fact, they seem preoccupied with
other matters," including hosting the '99 All-Star Game and
racial harassment allegations filed by a former employee.
She adds, "On the positive side, Duquette easily charmed the
business crowd ... [and] took the edge off the image
perpetrated by the sports media that he is arrogant and
aloof." But while he "wasn't aloof or arrogant," he did
seem "unsure and uncertain" regarding a new ballpark, "[a]nd
that is bad PR for him and the Sox" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/24).
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman attended groundbreaking
for the $130M St. Paul arena which will house the expansion
NHL Wild, according to Curt Brown of the Minneapolis STAR
TRIBUNE. Bettman "apologized" to the fans, saying that the
NHL "never should have left Minnesota five years ago and
promising it will thrive in St. Paul in the next century."
Bettman: "We are thrilled to be back here once again, and
we're sorry we ever left." After the ceremony, Bettman said
that he "has no doubts the Wild will succeed," even though
St. Paul has never had a major league sports franchise.
Bettman: "Based on my understanding of the demographics of
how the Twin Cities metropolis is expanding, this is
actually the right place to be" (STAR TRIBUNE, 6/24).
FAME COMES QUICKLY: Discussions between Wild officials
and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame officials "are pointing to
development of a satellite hall of fame exhibit" at the
Wild's new arena. Wild VP/Communications & Broadcasting
Bill Robertson said that the team has "had preliminary
talks" with the hall of fame (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/24).
Despite drawing crowds of 53,316 and 54,775 to Yankee
Stadium for the two Yankees-Braves interleague games on
Monday and Tuesday, Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner
renewed his desire for a new ballpark yesterday.
Steinbrenner, on Cleveland's Jacobs Field: "They're sold out
every night. Every single night. They have what we had
(Monday) night every single night. ... It's the same in
Baltimore. Every single night" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/24). In
N.Y., Harvey Araton writes, "Tell us another one. Keep
setting obstacles in the Bronx and daring New Yorkers to
cross them. Face it, big guy, they will build a nuclear
test site in Manhattan before they build you a ballpark"
(N.Y. TIMES, 6/24). Steinbrenner, telling the media of the
need for a park: "To make you guys understand, what I should
do is take away your parking privileges and make you hunt
for a parking space the way I saw people doing the other
night." The POST's Wallace Matthews claims the team already
pulled those privileges: "[E]ven when 50,000 show up, he
still finds something to complain about" (N.Y. POST, 6/24).