Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 159

Facilities Venues

          Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will officially open on
     Sunday as the Bucs host the Bears.  But in Tampa, Pugliese &
     Smith report that many fans had not received their season
     tickets for the new facility, which "prompted a flood of
     telephone calls" to the team.  Other "concerned season-
     ticket holders stormed the team's headquarters."  Ken
     Goodwin, a season-ticket holder since '76: "It just really
     aggravates me these people have the audacity to take our
     money since 1995 -- with interest -- and wait until the last
     minute to send us our tickets."  The Bucs, "who declined
     comment, remain optimistic that people will have their
     season tickets by today" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/18).  Today's ST.
     PETE TIMES provides a special section on the new facility
     titled, "Raymond James Stadium: Dropping Anchor."  The
     section examines the stadium's construction, the field, and
     the luxury and club seating (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/18).

          S.F. Mayor Willie Brown will meet with 49ers interim
     President Larry Thrailkill and NFL Commissioner Paul
     Tagliabue today about the status of the team's stadium
     complex.  Brown, on the team's new leadership: "I'd be more
     comfortable if there was somebody whom I'm familiar with. 
     Eddie DeBartolo would never not return my call.  He would
     never hold a press conference before talking to me" (S.F.
     EXAMINER, 9/17).  Meanwhile, defense attorneys in LA
     "speculated" that 49ers co-Owner Eddie DeBartolo "may have
     become a cooperating witness" in their case against former
     LA Gov. Edwin Edwards and son Stephen.  Edwin Edwards said,
     "I've been hearing since yesterday rumors that DeBartolo
     would not be indicted" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/18).

          NHL Panthers fans will get their "first look" at the
     National Car Rental Center on Saturday when the arena is
     "unmasked" for Sneak Peak/HockeyFest '98.  About 35,000
     people "are expected" to attend the event which will feature
     skydiving Elvis impersonators, marching bands and a
     fireworks display (MIAMI HERALD, 9/18)....In Detroit, David
     Josar reports that Wayne County officials have "cleared the
     way for construction of the Lions' stadium" after the
     approval of two "complex" 35-year leases between the county
     and the Detroit/Wayne County Stadium Authority, and the
     county and the Downtown Development Authority.  No
     construction date has been set (DETROIT NEWS, 9/18).

          Portland (OR) Mayor Vera Katz, calling 72-year-old
     Civic Stadium "an opportunity waiting to happen," is leading
     a group of civic officials "in spelling out a plan to find a
     private-sector investor to operate" the city-owned facility,
     according to Ken Wheeler of the Portland OREGONIAN.  City
     and Metro Exposition-Recreation Commission officials have
     "suggested" that an investor -- or investors -- could be
     "selected" by May with planning starting then.  So far,
     three local groups have shown interest "in participating in
     renovation of the stadium and securing additional tenants
     for the facility."  Katz said she has "spoken" to team
     officials of the Padres, Expos, Tigers, A's and Twins and a
     "senior official" with MLS "to make them aware of the city's
     intentions."  Katz: "Portland is on their list, but I can't
     tell you if it is high up or at the bottom of the list." 
     March 1 is the target date for a decision (OREGONIAN, 9/17).

          The Pacers will include a "three-pronged commercial
     project" in the northwest corner of Conseco Fieldhouse,
     "with plans to promote the site as a destination even on
     nights when there are no events at the arena," according to
     Sean Horgan of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS.  Pacers Assistant
     GM David Kahn said that the team is in the "final planning
     stages for the project," which will include an upgraded team
     store, an interactive-games area and a casual-dining
     restaurant.  The project will occupy "about" 9,000 square-
     feet over two levels of the Fieldhouse (STAR-NEWS, 9/17).

          Following the Padres' 6-3 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday
     night, in which Padres fans cheered for Sammy Sosa after his
     grand slam (and MLB record-tying HR No. 63) gave the Cubs
     the lead, Padres OF Greg Vaughn said, "Sammy Sosa's a good
     friend of mine and he's had a great year.  But what the
     (bleep) is going on?  We're trying to do something for this
     city and the (bleep) fans are rooting for this guy to beat
     us. ... Everyone in this clubhouse feels like we have our
     road uniforms on.  Are we the enemy? ... This is just
     (bleep) and you can tell the fans that" (Bill Center, S.D.
     UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/17). In S.D., Braun & LaVelle write that
     attorney Michael Aguirre, a co-Chair of the Proposition C
     ballpark campaign, "called the Padres to register his
     concern" about Vaughn's remarks, saying that "a few poorly
     chosen words would haunt the ballpark measure," which will
     be voted on in November.  Aguirre asked a team official:
     "Can we have a big meeting with the players and explain to
     them the concept of killing public image?  Because they are
     killing us."  Padres Owner John Moores said that "there
     would be no such meeting," and that the "only apology would
     be from the front office to the players -- for using the
     scoreboard and fireworks to congratulate Sosa."  Moores
     "went on to blame his own organization for the
     'inappropriate' fireworks."  Moores: "When Sosa hit it, I
     thought I was going to throw up, and then the fireworks went
     off and it pissed me off" (S.D. UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/18).