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SAN DIEGO-Padres officials hope to resume construction on a Downtown ballpark next month after delays that have added $30 million to theoriginal $267 million pricetag.

Action on a $225 million bond sale to finance the ballpark was delayed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because several financial institutions had offices near the World Trade Center.

Although steel and concrete had already been ordered, new collectivebargaining contracts have driven up costs, Padres officials say. Sincethe Padres agreed to pay anything over the $225 million paid for bybonds, they have had to redesign some aspects of the project.

Most of the changes to the actual ballpark are cosmetic. Less certain isthe status of office, hotel and other commercial projects such as EastVillage Square and the Campus at the Park, which border the stadium.

Padres officials say the ballpark should be open in time for the 2004baseball season. A 512-room Westin Hotel is expected to resumeconstruction next month, with completion to coincide with the opening ofthe ballpark.

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