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Oilers owner Bud Adams said he is "halting all efforts to promote" a downtown domed stadium." Managers of the Astrodome said they hope Adams now begins negotiations on a new contract effective when the Oilers' 10-year lease expires after '97-98, possibly leading to a $95M expansion of the Astrodome. The possibility also "looms that Adams will threaten to move his team to another city desperately seeking an NFL franchise" -- such as St. Louis, Baltimore, San Antonio or Hartford. Meanwhile, Rockets management said "they have not wavered" from plans to seek a smaller arena that could house basketball and hockey. Houston Mayor Bob Lanier said he had been expecting for several days that Adams would "call it quits" because Adams never generated support from Rockets owner Les Alexander, downtown interests or the public (John Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/30).
The Saints have agreed to a deal that will keep them in the Superdome for another 25 years. Under the deal, the team will "pay lower rent and take a larger share of game day concessions sales." The state will also pick up the cost of additional staff at all the team's home games. Details of the agreement: the club will pay about $50,000 a year less in rent under the new agreement, and receive 42% of the sale of certain concessions -- an increase from the current 35%. The "concessions by the state will cost at least" $4.5-5M over the life of the lease (Ed Anderson, New Orleans TIME-PICAYUNE, 9/29).
Reds Owner Marge Schott's "exclusive right to consider a possible purchase" of Riverfront Stadium has been extended until early December. Schott advisor Stan Chesley, who requested the extension in a letter to regional leaders, said while "nothing in this letter should be construed in any way as a commitment ... we continue to go forward." Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls said the agreement allows for extensions and said, "It's very encouraging that they believe they're making progress." Few people in the city feel Schott will buy the stadium, as speculation is she wants to build a Camden Yard-type ballpark for the Reds (Richard Green, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/30).