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Volume 24 No. 112

Facilities Venues

          NC State Univ. "has come through" with $5M in financing
     for cost-overruns at the Raleigh arena, "breaking a
     financing impasse and giving the arena authority leverage to
     press" the Hurricanes for $14M to help finish the job,
     according to Eisley & Alexander of the Raleigh NEWS &
     OBSERVER.  To complete the funding for the arena's estimated
     $26M overrun, the Centennial Authority also would seek a $7M
     bank loan.  The Hurricanes last month offered $5M, but
     authority and team reps plan to meet today to discuss a
     proposal where the 'Canes would give more, "which the team
     greeted cooly."  Gale Force Holdings President Dean Jordan:
     "We said we'd contribute $5 million, so we're a little
     disappointed they would ask for more."  Jordan said the team
     "will have to take a hard look" at the request.  Without
     financing, authority members said that the arena will not be
     ready for the Hurricanes' scheduled '99-2000 start date,
     which would mean the would play a third season at the
     Greensboro Coliseum.  Jordan: "We're almost at the point
     where we might have to plan on staying in Greensboro another
     year.  If we have to come up with $14 million with no way to
     get our money back, we'll have to analyze it and see if we'd
     be better off in Greensboro."  The team lost "more than"
     $30M in its first season there (NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/19).

          SUITE-NESS: In Baltimore, Jon Morgan reports that six
     Ravens players "are considering or have leased suites" at
     the team's new stadium, either by themselves or in
     combination with others.  The suites would be used by the
     players' families and friends during games.  Orioles 3B Cal
     Ripken also has a suite.  Ravens VP/Sales & Marketing David
     Cope said that he was "surprised" to find a ready market
     among the players.  Some players have businesses that allow
     them to take off suite expenses on taxes.  Ripken's suite is
     leased to his corporation, and Ravens WR Michael Jackson has
     a recording company in town (Baltimore SUN, 8/19).
          NOTES: NFL Giants co-Owner Robert Tisch "plans to send
     his plan for a new arena at the Meadowlands for the Nets and
     Devils" to NJ Gov. Christie Whitman next month.  Tisch said
     that Continental Airlines Arena is not "fair to the two
     teams playing there" (AP/Bergen RECORD, 8/18)....Yankees
     Owner George Steinbrenner, on if the team hits 3 million in
     attendance this season: "I want to make this very clear.  I
     never said I would stay [at Yankees Stadium] if we made 3
     million.  What I have always said is that if we make 3
     million, I would sit down and talk to [Bronx Borough
     President Fernando Ferrer]" (N.Y. POST, 8/19)....IMG "is
     planning to spend up to" $30M "to help build the largest
     tennis facility in the world" near Indian Wells, CA.  The
     $60M entertainment and tennis center, to be built in
     conjunction with a group headed by Indian Wells Tournament
     Dir Charlie Pasarell, would have a seating capacity of up to
     35,000 (Daniel Kaplan, SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/17).

          The cost of adding luxury suites to Dodger Stadium "is
     much higher than the Dodgers expected and could put the
     project in jeopardy or eventually cause the club to weigh
     renovating" its ballpark against building a new one,
     according to Kuwada & Kingsley of the ORANGE COUNTY
     REGISTER.  The team "thought" luxury suites and other
     enhancements could be completed before next season, helping
     offset a player payroll that has gone from $47M to $61M this
     season, but development and construction costs "could run as
     high as" $200M.  As a result, Dodgers President Bob Graziano
     said that the team will not add 60-75 planned luxury suites
     before next season.  He added that, "For next year, we're
     going to have to take a look at an increase in sponsorship,
     an increase in media income. ... We don't have luxury
     suites, we don't have much signage inside our stadium and
     relatively low ticket prices, yet we have the sixth-highest
     payroll in baseball."  Graziano, asked if the team could do
     without luxury suites: "It's possible, but unlikely I'd
     say."  Asked about replacing Dodger Stadium, he said, "We
     have not started evaluating that yet" (O.C. REGISTER, 8/18).