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         Jack Donlan, one of three members of the trust overseeing
    the sale of the Buccaneers, said the board has completed its
    first round of discussions with prospective buyers.  Aside from
    local bidders, groups from Toronto, St. Louis, Orlando, Fla. and
    Baltimore remain in the running.  Donlan, who did not say how
    many rounds of meetings there would be, said while the trustees
    would like the Bucs to remain in the area, they are speaking with
    groups interested in moving the team.  Donlan: "St. Louis has a
    state-of-the-art stadium ready to go with great inducements, and
    Baltimore has money hanging out there.  The trustees don't want
    to sell out of town, but we have a great fiscal responsibility."
    He said if the trust sells the team at a lower price to local
    ownership, "and after a couple of years, the new owner doesn't
    have the support he wants and he sells at a higher price and the
    team moves.  Would we have done our job, selling at a lower
    price?"  But he did acknowledge the "potential problems,"
    including lawsuits, if the team is moved (Tom McEwen, TAMPA
    TRIBUNE, 12/3).  Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who is trying to
    bring the Bucs to Baltimore, said he "was pleased but not
    surprised" to be among the finalists, adding: "We expect to have
    very serious discussions." Tampa bidder/businessman Thomas
    Shannon said the franchise isn't worth the $200M price Angelos
    has reportedly offered.  Shannon: "It sounds like this sale is
    being market-driven rather than driven by the economics of the
    team" (Vito Stellino, BALTIMORE SUN, 12/5).
         LOCAL NEWS:  A survey of 546 randomly selected adults in
    Hillsborough County showed that 84% want the team to stay in
    Tampa, but 70% oppose using public tax dollars to build a new
    stadium and keep the team from relocating.  44% favor using tax
    funds to renovate Tampa Stadium (John Stebbins, TAMPA TRIBUNE,
    12/5).  Hillsborough County Commissioner Joe Chillura, Jr. will
    press Gov. Lawton Chiles and the FL legislature to let the county
    use sales taxes collected at stadium events to help pay for
    stadium renovations (Gilpin & Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/3).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

         ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports the Rams "could announce
    their move any time to St. Louis, as early as [today], although a
    team official denies this."  Mortensen also reported that it was
    possible coach Chuck Knox would not go with the team to St. Louis
    ("GameDay," 12/4).  On Fox's "NFL Sunday" James Brown noted that
    several moving boxes were seen in the Rams scouting department
    last week.  Brown: "Their mailing address?  St. Louis" ("Fox NFL
    Sunday," 12/4).  This set off a flurry of denials from FANS Inc.,
    the civic group trying to bring the Rams to St. Louis.  FANS
    spokesperson Al Kerth called the ESPN report "wrong, wrong,
    wrong."  Rams officials also denied James Brown's report (Bernie
    Miklasz, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/5).
         TOO LATE FOR SAVE THE RAMS?  Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly's
    presence at a meeting with Rams President John Shaw and Save the
    Rams spokesperson Leigh Steinberg was "the city's most public
    gesture" toward keeping the team in the L.A. area.  Daly
    "assured" Shaw that Anaheim is "serious about keeping the Rams in
    Orange County, even if it means building a stadium for them."
    Daly said the idea of a new stadium was "discussed only
    conceptually and it could be several weeks before more details
    are made available."  Save the Rams' latest proposal is to build
    a football-only stadium on the Anaheim Stadium parking lot and
    demolish the old one  (Hernandez & Reilly, L.A. TIMES, 12/4).
    "Sources say a mound of details remain to be worked out," between
    the Rams and St. Louis.  But the "three or four most pressing
    issues regarding the stadium lease and stadium operation have
    been resolved."  The $260M domed stadium in St. Louis is 58%
    complete (Jim Thomas, St. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/4).
         ANAHEIM KEEPS ONE OF ITS TEAMS:  Angels President Richard
    Brown is close to a deal with the city of Anaheim to build a new
    baseball-only facility that would open in 1998, according to
    Peter Gammons.  "Heavy bidders are lining up to buy the club,"
    including former Red Sox partner Haywood Sullivan (BOSTON GLOBE,

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Boston Red Sox, ESPN, Franchises, NFL, LA Rams, Walt Disney

         The Lightning's "financial strength" and their "promise to
    stay in the area" was again questioned by FL media, as it was
    reported that "progress on the team's downtown arena suddenly was
    stopped because the team had fallen behind in paying for $658,500
    worth of foundation work."  Roy Cummings of the TAMPA TRIBUNE
    writes that until the team pays it's bills on time, "the public
    perception will continue to be that the Lightning are struggling
    to stay alive" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/4).  Kokusai Green (KG), the
    Japanese company that runs the Lightning, has spent more money
    than they anticipated on the franchise, and word of a possible
    sale to Ted Turner and a move to Atlanta forced KG to change the
    team's president and take a more active role in the daily
    operations of the club (David Neal, MIAMI HERALD, 12/4).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Tampa Bay Lightning

         The Panthers have "parted ways with the consultant who has
    been their liaison with minority and female business contractors
    since May '93."  The responsibilities of Carol Lilly of LIL
    Associates in Charlotte will be assigned to another staff member,
    according to Panthers spokesperson Charles Dayton.  But neither
    Lilly or Dayton would "explain her departure."  The team is
    exceeding their goal of attaining 10%-15% minority participation
    in the construction of their $174M stadium, but Alfred Alexander,
    President of the Charlotte NAACP, intends to ask team execs about
    Lilly's departure (David Mildenberg, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/3).

    Print | Tags: Franchises
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