Rubin did not return a call to his office seeking comment on the plan. Kevin Feeley, a spokesman for Mayor Rendell, said the mayor would have no comment. Rendell has said he would not comment on the stadium issue until the city had its full proposal, including how it intended to fund the project, in place. It has been estimated that building two stadiums will cost $500 million to $600 million. It was unclear yesterday what the price tag would be on Rubin's plan.
Neither Bill Giles, chairman of the Phillies, nor Joe Banner, vice president of the Eagles, was available for comment yesterday.
Until recently, any discussion of stadium location started with the presumption that a football stadium would be located east of Broad Street either on or near the current site of Veterans Stadium. A debate has flourished as to whether a new ballpark for the Phillies should also be built near the Vet site or in Center City. Two Center City locations have been discussed: Broad and Spring Garden Streets, a site favored by the Phillies, and 30th and Walnut Streets, a site being pushed by developer Dan Keating.
Rubin, whose company has done major developments in Center City as well as shopping centers and malls in the suburbs, had in the past presented a plan for a sports and entertainment complex to be built along with a new stadium in South Philadelphia.
His plan included sports-themed retail and entertainment and elements such as skating rinks and golf ranges.
``Ron Rubin's concept would basically create a whole little city, a mall concept built around sports and entertainment, and that could create quite a lot of jobs and significant sales tax revenues,'' Giles said two years ago when the plan was first floated.
Although the plan fell from sight, it apparently has been revived, at least in part.
According to a source familiar with the stadium discussions, Rubin's plan has a number of appealing elements that could make it politically viable.
Developing a park on the old Naval Hospital grounds and the site of Veterans Stadium would create a buffer zone between the new stadiums and the nearest residential neighborhoods.
There is already a golf course adjacent to the existing park - the Franklin D. Roosevelt Golf Course. The proposed new course would be much more challenging, the source said.
The entertainment center would include what was described as a ``new-wave shopping mall,'' with ``high-tech'' restaurants and shops - ``Planet Hollywood-type stuff,'' the source said.
That Rubin's plan has been shown to both teams suggests that it is being taken fairly seriously by the Rendell administration.
It also suggests that the possibility of a Center City site for the baseball park is growing more remote.
In the past, Rendell has said that a Center City location might not be economically feasible. It has been estimated that building a ballpark in Center City could add in excess of $80 million to the project because it would require parking and infrastructure improvements.
Just when the Rendell administration is prepared to make public its plan is unclear.
Rendell has been meeting with state legislators over the past several weeks, outlining some of his ideas in anticipation of a vote on stadium funding in the state legislature sometime in February.
Gov. Ridge wants to raise the state debt limit to provide $325 million in state funds for four stadiums - two in Pittsburgh, two in Philadelphia.
That would represent a third of the stadiums' cost, with the rest to be split between the city and the teams.
Sources said this week that Rendell is continuing to suggest a ticket surcharge as a way of raising the bulk of the money needed by the city for its share. The idea has been poorly received by the teams, which have viewed a surcharge as part of the way they intended to raise their portion of the stadium financing.