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Beer distributor Jerry Clinton yesterday agreed to sell his share of the lease for the city's new domed stadium and convention center. Clinton sold his 30% share of the lease to FANS Inc. -- a nonprofit group which has been attempting to lure a NFL franchise to St. Louis -- for $4M immediately, and another $4M if the city is successful in getting a team. FANS also agreed to grant Clinton a luxury box at the domed stadium free of charge for the next 20 years. Following the Clinton deal, St. Louis businessman James Orthwein announced that he would attempt to help the city attract a NFL franchise and sold his 65% share of the lease to FANS for $1 (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 9/16). Former Sen. Thomas Eagleton, the point man for FANS during the lease negotiations, said that the lease would be offered immediately to the Rams: "If we didn't get this lease resolved this week or next, school was out. The Rams are very pleased because they have been encouraging us to have a clear lease." In Baltimore, Vito Stellino writes that St. Louis now has moved ahead of Baltimore, claiming that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke are blocking the Rams from moving to Baltimore (Baltimore SUN, 9/16).
Ground was broken for the new CoreStates Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Mayor Ed Rendell recommended PA lottery money from sports betting to fund the project (Frank Lawlor, PHILA. INQUIRER, 9/15)....An Amway convention scheduled for the Kingdome October 14-16 has been canceled, costing King County $2-$4M (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/15). CORRECTION: Susan King of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission in the Twin Cities was incorrectly quoted in the September 14 issue of THE DAILY. Thge quote should have read that the Metrodome is only publicly held stadium in the nation that is completely self-supporting and receives no tax dollars. We regret any confusion.