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SHADOW OF A DOUBT

THE DEFECTION OF PHILIP ANSCHUTZ IS JUST THE LATEST RED FLAG IN THE PEPSI CENTER DEAL.

To hear Comsat tell it, those spinoffs may be of nearly mythic proportions. Gary Hunter says the Pepsi Center will play host to everything from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to Disney on Ice. That combined with the Nuggets and Avalanche games, he says, will keep the arena in constant use--and keep it profitable.

"We'll have anywhere from 180 to 250 event nights a year," he claims. "We'll have concerts, circuses and conventions. We'd control the revenue streams within the arena. We'd control our own destiny."

The players in the Denver deal have learned from the mistakes that were made in Minneapolis, adds Hunter. Still, he's not making any guarantees. "I would never be so bold as to say it would never happen here," he says of the Target Center disaster. "But we have a number of safeguards to make sure that doesn't happen. They overextended themselves in Minnesota.

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