SBD/6/Franchises

EAGLETON MEETS THE PRESS; SEAT COLORS HOLDING UP DEAL?

     FANS Inc. spokesperson Tom Eagleton held a press conference
yesterday to refute TV reports that a deal to move the Rams to
St. Louis was complete.  Eagleton said the reports on ESPN and
Fox were "just wrong.  I would not be able to lie about this if
it was really done" (Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/6).  Eagleton
remained confident a deal would get done, but isn't counting out
Anaheim.  Eagleton: "I have some real fear that they could decide
that Anaheim, with all of its faults, is still a better home for
them" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/6).
     HANGUPS:  Eagleton reported on issues holding up a deal.
First, the Rams are asking for a guaranteed ticket sales of
55,000 at the 70,000-seat St. Louis domed stadium.  Eagleton said
FANS will continue to say no to that request.  Another snag in
negotiations is the color of seats in the new stadium.  Eagleton
said the Rams "requested that we consider changing the seat
colors to Rams colors."  Eagleton is unsure whether they will
meet that request (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/6)
     MONEY PROBLEMS IN ORANGE COUNTY:  ESPN's Keith Olbermann
noted that "the bid to save the Rams took another hit" when
Orange County Treasurer Bob Citron resigned after an investment
fund he was managing for Anaheim and 37 other cities took "an on-
paper loss of $1.5 billion dollars."  This "could hinder any bond
proposal by the city or the county to build the Rams a new
stadium" ("SportsCenter," 12/5).  Officials in Anaheim said it
"was too early to gauge the effects" of the $1.5B loss.  Save the
Rams, the Anaheim group trying to keep the team in Orange County,
had planned to use county bonds to renovate Anaheim Stadium, and
City Manager Jim Ruth said the city's involvement with the funds
"should not affect its plans to build a new baseball stadium"
(Michele Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 12/6).
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