SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies

NFL EXPANSION TEAMS BOTH LOBBYING FOR NFC WEST PLACEMENT

     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).
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