SBD/16/Franchises

TAGLIABUE SAYS LEAGUE WILL WORK TO KEEP BUCS IN TAMPA

     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).
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