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BUCS COMPLETE ROUND ONE OF NEGOTIATIONS; WHO MADE THE CUT?
Published December 5, 1994
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).