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ANGELOS FACES RELOCATION FEE; WILL BUCS PROPOSE TAX FOR TIX
Published December 21, 1994
Despite saying he is the front-runner to buy the Buccaneers, Orioles Owner Peter Angelos would still "have a major hurdle to clear" if he wants to buy the team and move it to Baltimore. The Bucs three-man trust told Angelos that they would not accept an offer for the team that was "conditional on the NFL allowing the team to relocate." Because of that, Angelos could face millions of dollars in "additional costs in attempting to buy and move the Bucs." Angelos would have to pay roughly $9.5M to buy the team out of its current lease at Tampa Stadium, but he also could be assessed $15M by the NFL in relocation fees and face millions more in legal fees if the league seeks a court-ordered injunction to block the move. Bucs trustee Steve Story said Angelos could buy the Bucs and operate the team in Tampa while trying to seek league approval for the franchise to be moved. Story: "That's a possibility. Clearly, that is not his preference" (Rick Stroud, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/21). Angelos: "We don't know what kind of fight the NFL might put up to keep the team from moving. At this point, making the deal is not the tough part" (Henderson & Stebbins, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/21). WILL HE OR WON'T HE? ESPN's Chris Mortensen said Angelos is "confident" he can buy the Bucs. Mortensen: "He is willing to fight the NFL (about moving) and even consider selling the Orioles if the cross-ownership issue gets too sticky." The "roadblock" is the "unconditional sale. In other words if Angelos fails legally to move the franchise, he'd still be stuck with the team" ("SportsCenter," 12/20). MD Gov. William Donald Schaefer believes the NFL will block a move to Baltimore. Schaefer put odds on the Bucs moving at "less than 50/50" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 12/21). TAXES GUARANTEES SEATS: During a press conference today, scheduled to be held at the 50-yard line in Tampa Stadium, local leaders are expected to announce a proposal to have taxpayers and businesses paying for unsold seats at home games. The city of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and Tampa Bay businesses would "guarantee the sale of at least 55,000 tickets for each home game for one or two years." Enthusiasm for the idea by elected officials who might be asked to vote on a ticket guarantee was mixed. Hillsborough County Commissioner Joe Chillura was not "terribly excited" about public money being used to guarantee sales, but he would favor guaranteeing public support if the Bucs made the Super Bowl during the next five years. Chillura: "If you want to obligate the county to $150 million in debt, there has to be more than just having an NFL team in town. We want a winning team" (Koehn & Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/21).