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"FOR SALE" SIGN GOES OUT IN FRONT OF BIG SOMBRERO
Published November 11, 1994
The Board of Trustee's overseeing the Hugh Culverhouse estate officially put the "for sale" sign over "One Buccaneer Place" yesterday. Stephen Story, the trustees' spokesperson, said "outside occurrences have forced" their hand, adding it was in the franchise's best interest "to expedite the sale of the team as swiftly as possible." The outside occurrences appear to be the split between the trust and the Culverhouse family, including two lawsuits filed by family members against the trust. Story hinted at a quick sale and was hopeful for local ownership, "If a new owner is to be in place, that party should have every opportunity to prepare for the '95 season. ... We all want very much for the team to stay in Tampa." After the announcement, "local residents interested in buying the team started lining up." Yesterday, Story met with a group headed by Tampa developer Tom Shannon and Outback Steakhouse CEO Chris Sullivan. Other prospective Tampa buyers include Vince Naimoli, currently heading Tampa's baseball expansion bid, Gina Pala of Dixon Ticonderoga, and Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/11). Any new owner would probably "want renovations made to Tampa Stadium that could cost $60- $70M," including more club and sky box seating (Pat Yaskinskas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/11). BUCS ON THE RUN? Both the NFL and various team owners would "like to see the team remain in Tampa Bay." But in Baltimore, Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who offered $200M for the Bucs earlier this year said, "Clearly we have an have interest, and clearly we intend to pursue it" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 11/11). Parties in St. Louis, trying to lure the Rams, had no comment. But "there are several things about a Bucs sale that might be more appealing for St. Louis. Most notably it could be cheaper" (Jim Thomas, St. Louis POST-DISPATCH, 11/11). NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the league "would very much like to see a strong and successful team in Tampa." Browns Owner Art Modell: "I wouldn't be quick to jump to the conclusion that the Bucs are going to move out of the area. I don't think that Hugh Culverhouse would posthumously like that." Chiefs Owner Lamar Hunt said his "preference is for every team to stay where it is." Hunt: "It probably is a great time to sell. There is a labor peace, a TV contract in place, a salary cap, and attendance is strong. ... They have got a fine stadium there and large niche that market" (Don Banks, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/11). Saints Exec VP Jim Miller: "We would prefer to see any team that's currently in a league city stay in that city" (Baltimore SUN, 11/11).