May 13, 2003
Rockets blink

The Houston Rockets have reportedly entered "good faith negotiations" with local minority groups over the issue of splitting the new arena's construction and operations boodle.

Both sides were ordered into mediation for the second time after state District Judge John Coselli last week issued a temporary restraining order barring the Rockets from signing any new concessions contracts without his approval.

As a result of the latest mediation, Rockets spokesman Bill Miller said Monday the team offered black and Hispanic leaders a deal similar to the concessions joint-venture partnership between minorities and the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

"There is a rent factor that is taken out, and then the balance is split between 70 percent operator and 30 percent investor," he said. "There will be a minority investor group that is in partnership with Les on the food and beverage portion."

In addition, Miller said the Rockets still intend to reach the 30 percent goal for minority- and women-owned business participation in all operations contracts.

In the Minute Maid agreement, Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr. fulfilled minority participation goals at the baseball field by agreeing to a joint venture in which investors anted up at least $100,000 each and share equally in the risks and profits of food and beverage sales.

This sure has the feel of Les Alexander realizing that he's whipped. You've got no one to blame but yourself, big guy. This never had to happen.

UPDATE: An agreement has been reached. That sound you hear is Sylvester Turner exhaling.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 13, 2003 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack