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Volume 24 No. 117
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          The D'Backs' "impact on downtown business has been a
     big hit" in their inaugural season, according to Peter
     Corbett of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  A report by Phoenix's
     Finance Department shows that fans lured to Bank One
     Ballpark have helped contribute a 34.1% increase in the
     city's sales tax revenues in the downtown area for the first
     six months of this year, compared with the same period in
     '97.  Retail sales through June 30 in the downtown core were
     up 93.8% over the same six-month period in '97.  Downtown
     Phoenix Partnership Exec Dir Margaret Mullen, comparing the
     D'Backs to new ballparks in Denver and Baltimore: "When we
     started planning for the stadium in 1993, we felt that if we
     got half the impact of the other cities, we'd be happy.  Now
     it appears we're going to exceed both."  Restaurants and
     bars downtown have seen their food and beverage tabs
     "balloon" from $40.3M to $52.4M through June 30, a 30% jump
     from the year-ago period.  Hotels and motels in the one-
     square-mile area have shown a 6.6% increase, compared with a
     4.3% increase citywide.  The time frame of the sales-tax
     report includes the first three months of the MLB season and
     37 of the D'Backs' 81 home games (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/13).