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  • NBA & NHL EXHIBITION CITIES MAKE THEIR CASES FOR EXPANSION

         St. Louis' new Kiel Center attracted 14,153 to its opening
    night NBA exhibition game between the Bullets and Bulls.  House
    Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, who represernts St. Louis: "We
    need an NBA team here.  St. Louis is a major sports town.  And a
    major sports town deserves an NBA team. ... [But] we've got to
    get football first"  (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/15)....But St.
    Louis NBA exhibition promoter Joe Yates said fewer than 10,000
    tickets had been sold the day before the game.  The game didn't
    have the "drawing cards" the two previous preseason sellouts had,
    including a '92 game with Magic Johnson and the Lakers, and last
    year's game with the Bulls.  Yates:  "This is not good if you
    want to put the best face to the NBA," especially as the only
    sport playing in St. Louis.  St. Louis Sports Commission's
    basketball subcommittee Chair Barry Cervantes said he recently
    met with NBA Operations VP Rod Thorn to "keep the city's foot in
    the door in case of expansion or relocation."  Perkins and
    "sports officials unanimously agree" St. Louis has "situated
    itself as a potential basketball mecca" (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH,
    10/16).
         DENVER A POTENTIAL HOCKEY HOTBED?  Noting the IHL Denver
    Grizzlies' 16,215 sellout-crowd in McNichols Arena,  Boston
    hockey writer Kevin Paul Dupont suggests it might be time for the
    Devils to return to CO (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, Franchises, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, New Jersey Devils, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, YankeeNets
  • RAMPANT RUMORS ABOUT RAMS PLANS

          Former Mariners owner and "longtime" Rams board member
    George Argyros is leading a group trying to buy an option to
    acquire the Rams from owner Georgia Frontiere and keep the team
    in Anaheim.  The group, which includes Carl's Jr. restaurant
    chain Chair William Foley, hopes to buy a minority stake with the
    right to become controlling owner if Frontiere sells the team.
    Argyros is operating the group on a "parallel but separate" track
    from the Leigh Steinberg-led Save the Rams organization (ORANGE
    COUNTY REGISTER, 10/15).
         ANAHEIM ANGUISH:  Anaheim City Council Member Bob Simpson
    asks, "Why should [the Rams] stay in Anaheim and accept less than
    they can get someplace else unless the deals aren't very, very
    close?"  In St. Louis, Jim Thomas writes that efforts by Save the
    Rams have gone "about as far as" possible and the area's fan base
    has "eroded" to the point where a seat-licensing program
    "probably wouldn't fly."  But while Simpson notes that Save the
    Rams is "a long shot," he feels the group has come "a long way in
    a short time" (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/15).
         WEIGHTY MOVES:  Fox's James Brown: "With Rams owner Georgia
    Frontiere borrowing heavily against her teams NFL debt limit of
    $40 million, the club believes it must relocate, and it
    definitely will for the huge financial benefits.  Now sources
    tell Fox that Baltimore remains a serious contender, along with
    St. Louis, for the Rams' future home" ("NFL Sunday," FOX, 10/16).
         WHO'S WHO IN ST. LOUIS:  St. Louis businessman Stan Kroenke,
    instrumental in the city's expansion effort, is "low-key" enough
    to be a "better fit" as a Rams minority owner than "outspoken"
    Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, according to a profile by the POST-
    DISPATCH's Thomas.  Kroenke still faces "hurdles" in acquiring an
    interest in the team:  First, what percentage of ownership will
    be sold?; 2) at what cost?; and, 3) Will there be any option to
    buy out owner Frontiere?  Kroenke and St. Louis booster group
    FANS have been on "parallel tracks," but FANS point man Tom
    Eagleton noted last week that he has never met Kroenke (ST. LOUIS
    POST DISPATCH, 10/16).
         SHAKING A BAD REPUTATION:  In St. Louis, Bernie Miklasz
    writes "don't get your hopes up" that the Rams will move to St.
    Louis, noting Rams President John Shaw has "negative" feelings
    about St. Louis but is "charmed" by Baltimore Colts' "nostalgia"
    (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/17).
         COOKE CLOUT:  Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke has "appeared
    to be winning the perception battle" to keep an NFL team out of
    the adjacent Baltimore market, but owners are less likely to
    block a move to Baltimore than an expansion team because of
    possible legal battles and because many owners "condone" team
    movement:  "Any anti-Baltimore lobbying efforts will have to be
    done behind the scene" (Vito Stellino, Baltimore SUN, 10/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, Indianapolis Colts, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins
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