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THE INSIDE TRACK | NEWSWIRE

SkyDome Will Seek Legal Protection From Creditors

November 27, 1998| From Staff and Wire Reports

SkyDome Corp., owner of Toronto's retractable-roof sports stadium, confirmed Thursday that it will seek legal shelter from its creditors.

The stadium is home to baseball's Blue Jays and the NBA's Raptors.

The company will initiate restructuring proceedings today under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act, the company said.

The company, in a statement, blamed its problems on "many factors that are negatively impacting the business as well as changes to the sports, entertainment and economic environments in which SkyDome operates."

Blue Jay attendance fell last season and the owners' lockout has kept the Raptors from playing.

SkyDome bondholders, mainly insurance companies, are owed about $40 million.

The filing for protection from creditors will not affect the day-to-day operation of the stadiums, the company said.

SkyDome, opened in 1989, is 49% owned by Interbrew, the Belgian beer multinational which owns Labatt Breweries and 90% of the Blue Jays, the stadium's major tenant.

The Blue Jays announced Thursday that they have reached a new 10-year lease agreement with SkyDome--subject to court approval.

Basketball

Tonya Edwards, making her debut as player-coach for the Columbus Quest of the American Basketball League, scored 17 points in a 67-49 victory over the Philadelphia Rage at Philadelphia.

The Quest (6-1) played their first game since former coach Brian Angler resigned Monday to join the rival WNBA.

Teresa Edwards had 17 points and six rebounds for the Rage (5-2), who fell out of a first-place tie with the Quest in the Eastern Conference.

Names in the News

Alberto Tomba and his father have been indicted on charges of tax fraud in Bologna, Italy, and are scheduled for trial in March 2000.

The three-time Olympic ski champion, who retired last month, is accused of failing to pay taxes on $14 million in income from 1990-96. Franco Tomba, the skier's father, is his business manager.

Former soccer star Diego Maradona kicked and punched reporters who were trying to interview him at an airport prior to his departure to Rome.

Maradona and his wife, Claudia Villafane, arrived at Ezeiza Airport outside Buenos Aires and were immediately surrounded by reporters and autograph seekers.

"I'm not talking," Maradona said. When the crowd pressed around him, he responded with punches and kicks, at least one of which caught a television reporter.

Maradona will demand financial compensation for an allegedly erroneous drug test taken during his playing days in Italy.

Tiger Woods shot a three-under-par 69 in the Casio World Open at Ibusuki, Japan, leaving him two strokes behind first-round leader Joe Ozaki of Japan.

Paul Stankowski, the 1996 winner, shot a 68 for a share of second place with Japan's Hidemichi Tanaka and Mamoru Osanai.

Miscellany

A Maryland prosecutor offered last August to drop all charges except two traffic citations against former Washington Wizard star Chris Webber and to try to keep the deal sealed--an offer Webber turned down, according to court records.

Under the deal offered by Prince George's County State's Attorney Jack B. Johnson, Webber, 25, would have paid $30 for each traffic citation, and Johnson would have dropped misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession, resisting arrest and second-degree assault stemming from a traffic stop.

The Galaxy will play the Colorado Rapids in their March 21 home opener at the Rose Bowl, matching two of three Major League Soccer teams owned by Philip Anschutz.

Defending champion Italy trounced the Netherlands, 15-2, 15-7, 15-1, and advanced to the semifinals of the men's World Volleyball Championships at Tokyo.

In Saturday's semifinals, Italy, seeking to become the first men's team ever to win three consecutive world titles, plays undefeated Brazil and Cuba meets Yugoslavia.

Saman Sorjaturong of Thailand defended his WBC flyweight title for the 10th time by winning a unanimous decision over Ladislao Vazquez of Mexico at Bangkok.

In women's volleyball, the Long Beach State Thanksgiving tournament begins today at the Pyramid. The top-ranked 49ers (27-0) play host to South Florida (25-5) at 7:30 p.m.

The two remaining undefeated teams in NAIA women's soccer meet today at 10 a.m. when No. 2 Azusa Pacific (23-0-0) plays No. 1 Mobile (22-0-0) at Mobile, Ala., in the semifinals of the NAIA tournament.

Randy Harvey is on vacation.

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