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Volume 24 No. 116

Facilities Venues

          The city of Phoenix unveiled a plan to give America
     West Arena a $12M upgrade, making it "one of the biggest
     hockey arenas in the NHL," although the Coyotes may still
     relocate to Scottsdale, according to Chris Fiscus of the
     ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  The renovation, which could be completed
     "by the end of summer 2000," would give the arena 17,500
     seats with "clear views for hockey and arena football."  In
     addition to the remaining 2,500 "or so 'obstructed-view'"
     seats, America West's capacity would increase to over
     20,000.  The arena currently holds 16,210 for hockey --
     though less than 12,000 offer unobstructed views -- and
     19,023 for basketball, seating that would "remain
     essentially the same."  Also, the Coyotes would receive
     access to all suites for their home games beginning in the
     2000-01 season.  Seven existing suites are currently
     unavailable to the team.  Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza said
     that the $12M could be paid from existing arena funds,
     although the use of those funds and the renovation plan must
     still be approved by the Phoenix City Council.  City
     officials said the city would still go through with the
     renovations despite the Coyotes' insistence on relocating to
     a new facility in Scottsdale (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/12).

          A day after the Nets unveiled their plans to build a
     sports and entertainment complex in Newark, Devils Owner
     John McMullen gave NJ Gov. Christie Whitman his proposal for
     "the same kind" of complex at an historic train terminal in
     Hoboken, according to Doug Most of the Bergen RECORD. 
     However, the Whitman administration responded by sending
     letters to both teams "saying their proposals were
     inadequate and asking for more details to help officials
     make a decision."  McMullen is pushing for a $350M "Hoboken
     Station" that would be "anchored" by an 18,500-seat arena
     and "complemented" by retail stores, restaurants and a movie
     theater.  The arena would include 100 luxury boxes, 3,000
     club seats, theme restaurants and team shops.  The Devils'
     plan "relies on less public money than the Nets' plan," and
     both come days before the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority
     is to release a state-ordered five-month study on the future
     of the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford.  But
     Whitman spokesperson Pete McDonough stressed one sports
     complex: "I think the state will be expressing to the teams
     that a dual-sports arena is the only thing that makes sense
     to us right now.  We will need to convince the teams to
     stick together in one of three locations" (RECORD, 3/12). 
     McMullen will finance $200M of his project, with only $30M
     coming in public funds (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/12).

          The parent company of England's Wembley Stadium voted
     to sell the facility to the English National Stadium
     Development Company for $171M.  SFX and British sports
     entertainment group Enic had also been trying to buy the
     stadium (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/12)....In Atlanta, Henry Unger
     notes in a progress report on Philips Arena that about half
     of the 1,800 club seat season-tickets at the arena have been
     sold for either $8,000 or $9,500 each (CONSTITUTION, 3/12).

          Donald Trump and ISC have "agreed to explore" building
     a NASCAR race track on Long Island, according to Rick
     Westhead of BLOOMBERG NEWS.  The agreement will be announced
     at a press conference today.  Yesterday, shares in ISC rose
     2 5/16 to a "record" 48 1/2 in trading of 184,000, "more
     than twice their three-month daily average of about 66,000"
     (BLOOMBERG, 3/11).  Trump recently bid $55M for a site on
     Long Island,where he has proposed building a NASCAR
     speedway.  Trump had been asked by local officials to "show
     that he had a track partner before the town would begin
     negotiations to sell the 2,900-acre site" (NEWSDAY, 3/12).