DALLAS -- Even with word that Denver will be recommended for a major league baseball franchise, the city's baseball authority will wait until it is official before financing a $139 million stadium.
Alex Brown, senior vice president at Kirchner, Moore & Co. of Denver, the financial adviser to the authority, said a final decision by National League owners to award a franchise to Denver will come this summer.
While th 26 owners meet today, they are not expected to act on the recommendations, which were made public on Monday. But when they do, the Denver Metropolitan Major League Baseball Metropolitan Major League Baseball Stadium District will move to enact a one-tenth cent sales tax approved last fall by voters.
"There could be a vote as early as this week, but I don't think anyone realistically expects that to happen," said Mr. Brown. "Once the National League has finally acted, then the district can adopt a resolution to enact the tax."
The district expects to begin collecting the tax within 90 days of its enactment. Denver-area voters last fall approved a 20-year sales tax on the condition that it only be implemented if the city won an expansion franchise.
The tax is expected to generate $15.5 million in the first full year and will retire $55 million of tax-exempt bonds that will be used in the financing.
Mr. Brown said the agency expects to issue approximately $45 million in taxable bonds by 1993. The remaining financing will come from upfront money provided by a number of sources.
The funds will be used to build a 43,000-seat, open-air downtown stadium to be called Coors Field, after the Colorado-based brewer that provided an undisclosed upfront investment.
In a move to beat the yearend expiration of the transition rule to use tax-exampts to finance a stadium, Denver officials issued $55 million of municipal bonds in December and escrowed them with an Oct. 1 remarketing date.
Miami, which also was recommended to host a major league franchise, will not build a new complex. Instead, the franchise will use Joe Robbie Stadium.
Four other finalists for the franchise were: Buffalo, N.Y.; Washington, D.C.; and two Florida cities, Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg.
Joel Giambra, comptroller for Buffalo, said the city's dream of landing a major league team is not dead.
"We are still on the hunt," he said, noting that when Buffalo sold $26.1 billion of bond anticipation notes in December to finance the expansion of Pilot Stadium, it structured the notes to mature in June 1992.
"We built in extra time in case we didn't get a franchise, but did attract an existing franchise," he said.