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San Diego

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a memorandum of understanding with the San Diego Arena Corp. that clears the way for Harry Cooper to begin environmental impact studies for his proposed sports arena in Sorrento Hills.

Cooper described the memorandum as a “very important” part of his plan to build the proposed Sorrento Hills arena and his effort to line up financial partners who will attempt to lure professional hockey and basketball franchises to San Diego.

With the memorandum, potential investors and the professional sports leagues will know that the council “has agreed that I have their support and best wishes,” Cooper said. Without the memorandum, it would be impossible to line up financial support needed to win basketball and hockey franchises, Cooper said.

Cooper has proposed a March, 1992, groundbreaking at the Sorrento Hills location. If that date is met, the facility could be open by August, 1994, Cooper said.

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The memorandum of understanding adopted Tuesday does not prohibit the city from talking to any other party that might surface with an arena proposal. However, the agreement generally prohibits the city from helping to finance another developer’s proposed arena as long as Cooper is making progress toward building his.


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