SBD/5/Franchises

DAY OF DENIALS ON THE RAMS FRONT

     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,
12/4).
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