SBD/11/Franchises

ST. LOUIS RAMS? ANNOUNCEMENT COULD COME NEXT WEEK

     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,
1/11).
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Franchises, NFL, St. Louis Rams

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