Gateway Corp. Walking Fine Financial Line

CLEVELAND (AP) - A nonprofit organization created in Cleveland to build and operate the city's baseball stadium and basketball arena could soon be in financial trouble, under certain circumstances.

The financial tightrope that the Gateway Economic Development Corp. walks could snap if a Major League Baseball strike happens and if the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers are sold.

In such a scenario, Cuyahoga County -- already facing a deficit -- might be forced to meet Gateway obligations for expenses such as property taxes, maintenance and repairs and to pay off a $31 million bond that was issued to help with construction.

Gateway gets a portion of Cleveland Indians ticket sales, but only if 1.85 million tickets are sold in a season -- and a strike could hurt that.

And if the Cavaliers are sold, Gateway's $7 million debt for repairs on Gund Arena could suddenly come due.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)