SBD/22/Franchises

SAVE THE RAMS PLOTS NEW STRATEGY TO KEEP TEAM

     Save the Rams, the civic group trying to keep the Rams in
the L.A. area, will hold a news conference today to announce
their plans to fight the team's rumored move to St. Louis.  Save
the Rams believes the team is about to sign a lease with St.
Louis, and will launch an "all-out lobbying assault on NFL owners
and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in an effort to secure the eight
league votes necessary to block the move."  Save the Rams Co-
Chair Leigh Steinberg: "We're going to give a progress report on
where we think the battle goes from here.  This is going to be
Phase Two."  The group may call on CA Gov. Pete Wilson, U.S.
Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and former baseball
commissioner Peter Ueberroth to "persuade owners that Orange
County can support the Rams and deliver on a package that would
make them financially competitive" (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES,
12/22).  Bob Glauber of THE SPORTING NEWS writes on the
implications of pro football leaving the L.A. market. Glauber
calls a Rams move "bad news for the business of pro football,"
and noting the potential loss of the Raiders as well, he adds
that "franchise stability is paramount to any sports league's
success. ... Not only do you remove football from an area that
has had an NFL team for nearly half a century, but you remove a
product from a major population center, something that can result
in a loss of significant revenue" (THE SPORTING NEWS, 12/26
issue).
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