"When you take into consideration (the fact that by) combining Orange and Riverside counties, and drawing a 25-mile radius around the Anaheim area, (and) not even including people in the Los Angeles area, you have 5 million people," said Mayne, the Anaheim facility's general manager. "So we're very confident than an NBA franchise will locate in Anaheim. And remember, our stadium will be ready this year."
The Anaheim facility recently secured a National Hockey League franchise being organized by the Disney Corp.
As for Burbank, developer Lew Wolff--who last year was awarded exclusive rights for three years by the Burbank City Council to negotiate for construction of an indoor arena in the city--said he would not mind a delay of three to six months in the Clippers' choice.
Wolff confirmed difficulties in arranging financing. He said that Warner Bros.--which has been delaying a decision on whether to join Wolff and his partner, actor Wayne Rogers, in building the Burbank arena-- "has not made a concrete decision to do this."
As for toxics considerations, Wolff said, "There is a cleanup problem, but it's a manageable one."
"I think a move to Burbank by the Clippers will be a difficult, emotional decision," Wolff added. "Whatever fan base they have is used to going to the Sports Arena."
At the Sports Arena, a representative of the facility's management said that the Coliseum Commission recently authorized $500,000 to draw up initial plans for a reconstructed facility.
"If you look at this site, it has advantages," said Peter Luucko, representing the Spectacor partnership. But despite the appropriation, he conceded that it would take at least "two or three years to get (the new facility) done."
* FANS WARM UP: Hockey team plans in Anaheim spark new interest. B1