SBD/18/Franchises

CFL HAS REASON TO BELIEVE THEY WILL BE RECEIVED IN GRACELAND

     The CFL "went for a strong football background yesterday
when in accepted Memphis as its 13th member."  The announcement
that Federal Express founder Fred Smith was joining the league
gave credibility to the CFL's American expansion effort (Ken
Murray, Baltimore SUN, 11/18).  The team will play at the 62,512
seat Liberty Bowl when it takes the field next season, but still
must work out a lease agreement with the city and renovations.  A
possible name: the Memphis Cobras (Mike Ganter, TORONTO SUN,
11/18).
     BIG MOVE:  Because the CFL has experienced difficulty this
year, yesterday's announcement was seen as significant.  Stephen
Brunt of the GLOBE & MAIL writes that "a great big corner has
been turned on the road to make it a viable, continental league."
With FedEx, the CFL "acquired a new veneer of corporate
credibility," made it likely that "more high-quality ownership
will come on board," and "greatly enhanced" chances of attracting
U.S. TV dollars -- maybe even CBS.  "The sponsorship
opportunities [Fred Smith] brings to the table are enormously
significant" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/18).  In addition, CFL
Commissioner Larry Smith may have saved his job.  Larry Smith:
"We think this gives us exactly the same profile that Blockbuster
Video and Disney gave to the NHL" (Rick Matsumoto, TORONTO STAR,
11/18).  CFL's Baltimore Owner Jim Speros also noted the
potential sponsorships Smith and FedEx bring:  "He'll help us get
to the next level" (Baltimore SUN, 11/18).
     NEXT MOVE?  Sunday's Western Division final between the
Calgary and British Columbia has sold an "astonishingly low total
of 12,000 tickets."  Stampeders Owner Larry Ryckman has
threatened to move the team to San Antonio, and "people are now
beginning to take him seriously."  Calgary kicker Mark
McLoughlin:  "You look at Baltimore and now Memphis, if those
teams do well and they get a TV contract I'll honestly forecast
that there will be no teams in Canada in the near future" (Neil
Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/18).
Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug