Denver's Pepsi Center delayed

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Denver businessman Philip Anschutz has backed out of a deal with Comsat Entertainment Group, Bethesda, Md., to build Pepsi Center, a proposed arena for Comsat's Denver Nuggets basketball team and Colorado Avalanche hockey team. Officials of Anschutz Corp., which owns the former railyard on which the $150 million arena was to be built, said Comsat reneged on a deal to sell Anschutz 50% of the Avalanche (the former Quebec Nordiques).

"We are prepared to go it alone," said Charlie Lyons, president of Comsat Entertainment Group.

Mr. Anschutz and his partners last week announced a plan to buy the Los Angeles Kings hockey team out of bankruptcy, and National Hockey League rules prohibit cross-ownership. Comsat had hoped to open Pepsi Center, considered key to the continuing rebirth of Denver's Lower Downtown, by the 1997-98 basketball and hockey seasons. Mr. Anschutz's move will delay construction by at least a year.

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