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Obituaries and Death Notices

Plan B

Plan B was the designation given to efforts to fund the construction of two new stadiums for the the Pirates and the Steelers, plus expand the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, after the failure of the first plan. (A drawing of the proposed  Pirates' stadium is at right.)

Before there was Plan B, there was another proposal to increase the sales tax in the region to help pay for those projects. That plan was voted down in a referendum, and what came next became known as Plan B.

Here is some of the news, background and details on Plan B, compiled from articles published in the Post-Gazette.



The Steelers have settled on an architect for the new $230 million football stadium on the North Shore, and it's the same design firm that will do PNC Park for the Pirates.

Common Pleas Judge Robert P. Horgos dismisses a lawsuit against Plan B funding filed by local lawyer Allen Brunwasser, a sharp critic of Plan B.

City and county officials say it's too late to revise Plan B and build a new ice hockey arena for the Penguins as part of the coming expansion of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

In a PG Sunday Forum article, Post-Gazette Associate Editor Paul R. Flora takes a critical look at the economic studies that drive important regional policy decisions, including "Plan B."

After five hours of debate, the Regional Asset District board approves local funding for an $809 million plan to build two new stadiums and triple the size of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The Pirates want to break ground for their new baseball stadium by April 1 so the park can be ready for play starting April 1, 2001.

Now that city and county officials agree with the Steelers and the Pirates about how much the teams will pay toward new stadiums, the Regional Asset District board will decide whether $13.4 million per year in county sales tax revenue may be used for the next 30 years to help underwrite the stadiums and expansion of the convention center.

After agreeing to ante up millions more, the Pirates and Steelers have reached a deal with local officials to build new stadiums that will keep the teams in Pittsburgh until at least 2031.

County Commissioner Bob Cranmer says that if the Steelers help sell "stadium investment bonds," as they indicated they would, it would count toward their share of the $803 million city/county proposal to build baseball and football stadiums and enlarge David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Pittsburgh and Allegheny County officials are pushing to reach agreements with the Pirates and Steelers on financing of new stadiums.

Steelers President Dan Rooney says that city and county officials are trying to force his franchise to assume too much of the financial burden for Plan B.

Allegheny County Commissioner Bob Cranmer says talks with the Steelers are going well.

An Op-Ed column by Allegheny County Commissioner Michael M. Dawida: Let's grow with Plan B.

City Councilman Jim Ferlo thinks that the mayor is not doing enough to get a portion of Regional Asset District funds for Plan B.

Property needed for the Pirates' new ballpark should be acquired by the end of the year, Mayor Murphy says.

The view from the Ridge -- or, what does the governor think?

What did PG columnist Brian O'Neill think? And has he changed his mind?

What is Plan C?

Models of the proposed new stadium for the Pirates.

For background on the drive to build new stadiums and other projects, read PG articles that preceded last year's failed attempt to pass a sales tax increase to fund construction.


 

The following articles were designed to answer questions about Plan B.

5 percent ticket surcharge explained to fans -- The first installment in a series of articles designed to answer questions about Plan B. This installment looks at ticket surcharges. City and county officials have proposed a 5 percent surcharge on Pirates and Steelers tickets to raise $22 million of the $803 million projected cost of the projects.

Plan B may tax visiting players -- Installment Two: A tax on the salaries of professional athletes who live out of state. City and county officials have proposed a 1 percent tax on that portion of an athlete's salary related to his play in Pittsburgh.

Record price for stadium naming rights is $100 million -- Installment Three: The sale of naming rights to the stadiums.

State funds for Plan B still not locked in -- Installment Four: State funding for the projects.

Stadium resource: asset district funds -- Installment Five: Regional Asset District funding for Plan B and how it would affect RAD funding of cultural institutions.

A closer look at Plan B -- Installment Six: The projected 38,000-seat capacity of the proposed $228 million ballpark on the North Shore, which the Pirates have said is necessary for the survival of baseball here.

Fancy seating: a revolution in sports finance -- Installment Seven: Premium seating -- luxury boxes and club seats.

Steelers not awash with cash for stadium -- Installment Eight: The Steelers' financial position and how it affects the amount the team will contribute toward stadium construction.

Construction costs for the projects probably will be higher
with delays
-- Installment Nine: The cost of the three projects.

Cost overrun issues remain to be decided -- Installment 10: What happens if there are cost overruns should both a baseball and football stadium be built.

Stadium building plans on fast track -- Installment 11: Probable timetables for accomplishing an ambitious building plan.

Teams have several payment options -- Installment 12: How teams might fund their share of stadium costs.

Plan B may turn to private managers -- Installment 13: The prospects for privatizing the convention center.

Novel way to raise funds on table -- Installment 14: A plan to raise $45 million toward the project costs by selling portions of the new baseball and football stadiums to private investors.

Sequence of funding is critical for Plan B -- Final installment: How the funding dominoes would fall to get the deal done and why the sequence of funding plans is critical.




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