SBD/17/Franchises

NEW NAME EMERGES AS "SERIOUS" CANDIDATE FOR BUCS

     Representatives of George Lindemann, 58, the principal owner
of Southern Union Co., a natural gas utility in Austin, TX, have
been in contact with Steve Story, spokesperson for the trust
operating the Buccaneers.  Lindemann, a FL resident, has become a
"serious candidate to buy the Bucs and keep the team in Tampa
Bay."  Lindemann tried to buy the Dolphins in Janaury , but lost
out to Wayne Huizenga who had the right of first refusal on the
team.  Now with the Bucs on the market, he is again a "major
player" in bidding for a team.  Forbes lists Lindemann as the
170th wealthiest man in America with a net worth of $590M (Bruce
Lowitt, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/17).  MO businessman Stan
Kroenke spoke by phone with the three-man trust yesterday and
"expressed interest to move" the Bucs to St. Louis if that city
does not get the Rams (Pat Yasinskas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/17).
     MORE STADIUM NEWS:  Tampa Sports Authority Exec Dir Rick
Nafe discussed preliminary plans for a $50-70M stadium
renovation, part of which would be the "installation of revenue
producing club level seating and additional sky boxes."  The
retrofitting, however, could reduce the stadium's capacity to
about 65,000 -- 5,000 below the minimum to host the Super Bowl.
Tampa has hosted two Super Bowls and was set to bid for the 2000
game (Don Banks, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/17).  Pinellas County
officials say they are unable to offer "cold, hard cash" to keep
the team in the Tampa area, but would "lend a hand on advance
season tickets sales" (Stebbins & Walker, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/17).
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