SBD/16/Franchises

TAMPA BAY OFFICIAL OFFERS INCENTIVES TO LURE LOCAL OWNERS

     Hillsborough County Commission Chair Joe Chillura said the
"county could provide more than $40 million worth of renovations
to Tampa Stadium to induce the next owners" of the Bucs to keep
the team in Tampa.  Chillura's comments went "further than other
elected officials" in promising tax dollars to keep the team.  He
said funds could come from excess surplus hotel taxes collected
to help pay for a downtown hockey arena, but those funds would
"only cover a fraction" of $40M (Larry Dougherty, ST. PETERSBURG
TIMES, 11/16).  The threat of a move by the team is consuming the
local media.  Steelers Owner Dan Rooney feels a move by the Bucs
could be "the first real test" of the nine guidelines for
relocation implemented in '84 by former Commissioner Pete Rozelle
following the Colts move to Indianapolis.  NFL spokesperson Greg
Aiello: "The league only wants teams to move when it is
absolutely necessary.  That is why we have the guidelines."  When
the guidelines -- such as stadium lease and financial conditions
-- are applied to the Bucs, the team "appears to be in good
shape" (Pat Yasinkas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/16).  Local investors
willing to purchase the team will do so only under the following
conditions, according to TAMPA TRIBUNE columnist Tom McEwen.  1)
If the financial numbers work; 2)  Tampa Stadium can be
renovated; 3)  New Buc facilities are worked out; 4) Community
support via ticket and luxury box sales (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/16).
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