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MOVING THE TEAM FROM TAMPA MAY COST BIG BUCS
Published December 6, 1994
Any group wanting to move the Buccaneers out of Tampa could face "at least" a $15M fee from the NFL. The league "imposed an expansion opportunity fee when current franchises move into area under consideration for expansion." Browns Owner Art Modell: "To move to an open market, you'd have to pay something to the league. You're pre-empting that city as an expansion site." The owners would divide the fee among themselves. NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello said the payment is determined by the difference in the two markets as the league "would assess if a team is going to a more attractive area and if the old area would become an expansion candidate." Before the team would move, the league would have to approve the action, something Modell said won't be easy: "You have to establish economic need, a distress situation" (Joe Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/6). Bruce Frey, a Chicago real estate developer who would keep the team in Tampa, doubts whether his group will be able to match the reported price tag (Rick Stroud, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/6). ST. LOUIS STAYS FOCUSED: FANS, Inc. spokesperson Tom Eagleton said the St. Louis-based group is still negotiating with the Rams, and not ready to make a "strong move on the Bucs." Eagleton said the Bucs sale presents "more obstacles beyond mere cost, you've got trustees, you've got family members, you've got lawsuits ... a lot of externals going on" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/6).