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         The Rams' move to St. Louis is close to complete, as
    "details and paperwork" appear the only obstacles keeping the
    team from making an announcement.  Rams President John Shaw:  "I
    think we are close to an agreement. ... if we get on the fast
    track it's conceivable we could have an announcement some time
    next week."  It is also reported that MO-based businessman Stan
    Kroenke was finalizing his agreement to purchase up to 40% of the
    team.  Kroenke would pay $80M for the share, and be given right
    of first refusal should the team be sold (T.J. Simers, L.A.
    TIMES, 1/11).  The two "nagging" issues preventing the move --
    the sale of permanent-seat licenses (PSL) and club and luxury
    boxes -- seem to have been resolved.  FANS, Inc., the civic group
    trying to bring the Rams to St. Louis, has reportedly agreed to
    guarantee sales of 85% of the club and luxury boxes for an
    undetermined "long-time" period.  The Rams have also "come down
    on their previous wish to have 50,000 seat licenses sold in about
    two months.  FANS, Inc. spokesperson Tom Eagleton:  "There's a
    definite closing of the gap. ... That means to me that we're
    going to get it done" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH,
    1/11).  FANS is expected to announce a move early next week,
    although Shaw denied a KMOX report that the announcement could
    come Sunday.  The team would then need to receive approval from
    23 of the NFL's 30 team owners, most likely during the NFL winter
    meetings in March (Himmelberg & Mouchard, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER,

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, LA Rams

         Stars President Jim Lites said that the Stars plan to "take
    advantage" of a loan program from the NHL.  Lites: "We're looking
    at restructuring our ownership and we're taking some steps to
    overcome our lack of playing."  Lites did not reveal how much the
    team has lost this season, but team Owner Norman Green said the
    amount they will borrow is "significant."  The loans will be made
    available from the league against the team's right toward future
    shared league revenues, including TV and merchandise.  Green is
    continuing to look for a partner for the franchise, but is not
    interested in selling the entire team (Mike Heika, FORT WORTH
    STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/11).

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Franchises, NHL

         Steve Story, spokesperson for the three-man trust in charge
    of selling the Buccaneers, said yesterday the trust is in "active
    negotiations" with three prospective buyers --Orioles Owner Peter
    Angelos, Palm Beach financier Malcolm Glazer, and a group
    represented by Jacksonville attorney Terry Moore.  Story added
    that they have not "closed the door on accepting additional
    offer" (Buccaneers).  This raised speculation that the trust may
    continue to hold on to the team, as there are questions regarding
    each ownership group.  Sources told the Baltimore SUN that the
    trust appears to be "focusing their efforts on the bids from
    Angelos and Glazier," but that the trust has "concerns with all
    the bids."  Questions surround Glazer's "financing plan" and
    "track record of exploring but not closing team purchases."
    Angelos' bid contains "a number of contingencies," and there are
    doubts if the NFL would approve him as owner or the relocation of
    the team.  Angelos' investment group includes fellow Orioles
    partner and novelist Tom Clancy, and Angelos has said if cross-
    ownership is a problem he would "allow another investor to head
    the effort" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 1/11).  This morning's
    St. PETERSBURG TIMES reports that all three prospective groups
    have ties to Baltimore, as Malcolm Glazer  and Baltimore attorney
    Robert Schulman, a key investor with Terry Moore, have both tried
    in the past to bring teams to Baltimore.  Orlando pencil
    manufacturer Gino Pala said he submitted an $150M offer to the
    trust on Tuesday, but admitted that the trust would likely be
    "disappointed in the bid" (Topkin & Testerman, ST. PETERSBURG
    TIMES, 1/11).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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