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TAGLIABUE SAYS LEAGUE WILL WORK TO KEEP BUCS IN TAMPA
Published December 16, 1994
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue held a national conference call yesterday in which he said the league is optimistic the Buccaneers will stay in Tampa. Tagliabue responded to statements by Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who Wednesday called the Bucs "eminently moveable." Tagliabue: "We're more optimistic in terms of the Tampa community keeping the team than Peter Angelos seems to be. ... (Angelos) seems to feel the team in Tampa Bay hasn't been supported. ... Our attitude has been quite different from that. We feel the Super Bowl games played in Tampa were extremely well-supported." Tagliabue did say the league would not become involved in financing a new stadium in Tampa or helping with renovations (Stroud & Testerman, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/16). CROSS-OWNERSHIP: NFL policy prohibits cross-ownership of other major pro sports franchises, and Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner and Angelos would "need a major change in league rules if they want to buy the Bucs." The league has ruled that Wayne Huizenga (who also owns the Panthers and Marlins) can run the Dolphins for two years, although technically the team is owned by a trust until June 1, '96. Tagliabue will review the Dolphins ownership at that time and could force the trust to buy Huizenga's stake. Browns Owner Art Modell: "The rules against cross-ownership are pretty strict. There's a lot of sentiment not to change our rules." Tagliabue said "it would not be possible for an owner in another sports to purchase" an NFL team, "unless there was some type of interim adjustment made," but he added, "We are continuing to reasses it." Steinbrenner would not comment on cross ownership, but Angelos "hinted" he would sell the Orioles if necessary: "I think we'd be willing to accept the conditions given to Huizenga, where they'd tell him he might have to divest himself" (Joe Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/16). KING GEORGE SPEAKS: Steinbrenner on his interest in the team: "(We) are deadly serious about this, if we can make it have economic sense. ... We have the finances and the desire, but I cannot recommend a bad deal to my investors" (Tom McEwen, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/16).