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NFL EXPANSION TEAMS BOTH LOBBYING FOR NFC WEST PLACEMENT
Published October 14, 1994
Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson "is aggressively lobbying the NFL to assign" his team to the NFC West. Richardson said yesterday that he recently wrote NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "stressing the Panthers' preference for being placed" in the NFC instead of the AFC. His argument is that with the proximity of the Falcons and Redskins, Carolina fans are more accustomed to seeing the NFC. Richardson also said the affiliation with the "popular" NFC could help the team "offset anticipated losing records in the Panthers' first several seasons." Assuming there is no realignment, the Panthers will be in the NFC because the overlap between the Jaguars' and Buccaneers' TV markets would prevent those two from being in the same conference. Withouth realignment, the Jaguars would join the AFC Central. However, a swap of the Colts (AFC East) and Bucs (NFC Central) would reverse the assignment of the two expansion teams. Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver, who also wants to be in the NFC, favors the Bucs-Colts swap. NFL owners meet in Chicago November 1-2 for final discussions on realignment (Charles Chandler, KNIGHT- RIDDER/ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/14).