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CAN FINANCIALLY-STRAPPED ORANGE COUNTY SAVE THE RAMS?
Published December 7, 1994
Orange County, CA, became the largest municipality in U.S. history to file for federal bankruptcy protection. This announcement came after an "all-day standoff" with Wall Street bankers who "insisted" the county repay $1.2M in loans to "its troubled investment pool." The "stunning news" from one of the nation's wealthiest (and most politically conservative) counties "shook" the financial markets. It also "raised questions about the funding of dozens of major projects in the county," from a Disneyland expansion to a possible new stadiums for the Rams and Angels (Platte/Lait/Paltrow, L.A. TIMES, 12/7). The county had been in discussions about new facilities for both teams, but Orange County Board Member William Steiner told the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: "Right now, the county's involvement for a new stadium has fallen off the priority list." Wayne Wedin, a financial consultant for Save the Rams, the Anaheim group trying to keep the team in the area, also told the REGISTER that stadium plans are not a "government-dependent effort and will primarily be a private-sector effort." Nonetheless, it is hard to see the region extending itself to satisfy the Rams given Orange County's financial crisis," writes Jim Thomas in St. Louis (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/7). CNN's Casey Wian reports that Orange County's investment losses might even be "double" the $1.5 billion that the county claims ("Moneyline," 12/6). HAVE THEY MOVED ALREADY? In a chart profiling "About Orange County" in today's USA TODAY, the Rams are not mentioned under the subject heading: "TEAMS." Only the NHL Ducks and MLB Angels are listed (USA TODAY, 12/7).