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  • RAMS SET TO MOVE TO ST. LOUIS' "GEORGIA" DOME

         At a 3:00pm EST news conference, the Rams will officially
    announce their intention to leave Southern California after 49
    years and move to St. Louis, according to this morning's L.A.
    TIMES.  Rams Owner Georgia Frontiere and team President John Shaw
    will "join a long list of political and business dignitaries at
    the news conference, during which MO-based businessman Stan
    Kroenke will be introduced as the team's new minority owner.  The
    deal was finished Monday night, as officials and attorneys
    "celebrated with a private reception and dinner at the Ritz-
    Carlton in St. Louis" (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 1/17).
         ON GEORGIA'S MIND:  The move became official over the
    weekend, when in an exclusive interview with the L.A. TIMES,
    Frontiere expressed her disappointment about leaving:  "We
    borrowed to our limit to try and keep it in Anaheim.  We've gone
    as far as we can go."  Frontiere admitted she was sorry for the
    fans of L.A., but added: "Maybe if they had reacted sooner, and
    with some passion ... but it wasn't like that.  It was like, 'Oh
    well, let them go.'"  Frontiere said she "had a good feeling
    about" St. Louis, although "it's a bit more laid back than
    California" (T.J. Simers, L.A. TIMES, 1/15).  The league must
    formally approve the move at the owners meetings in March.  THE
    DAILY has learned that officials in the L.A. area will hold a
    news conference today to outline plans to lure another franchise
    to Southern CA.     DONE DEAL:  The Rams will "reap one of the
    most lucrative enticements deals in pro sports history," with
    yearly profits of over $20M, according to Jerry Bonkowski in this
    morning's USA TODAY. The Rams receive:  A new 70,000 seat domed
    stadium to be completed in October '95 -- they will open next
    season at Busch Stadium; a guarantee from FANS, Inc., the civic
    group who negotiated the deal, that 85% of luxury boxes and club
    seats will be sold for the next 15 years, with all home-team
    proceeds going to the team;  the $60M-$70M raised from the sale
    of Permanent Seat Licenses (PSL) will be used to pay off $30M in
    stadium improvements to Anaheim Stadium, enabling the team to get
    out of its lease, cover the Rams legal and moving expenses, and
    anticipated team losses this season.  There is also speculation
    that Shaw will receive a "'finder's fee' of a few million dollars
    for orchestrating the move," but Shaw denied this.  The Rams have
    asked St. Louis to guarantee a minimum of 40,000 PSL's sold
    before the league's annual spring meeting in March.  If the
    figure is not reached, the Rams have the right to void the deal.
    About 50,000 PSL's will go on sale this week, priced at $250 to
    $4,500.  A 23% deposit will be required.  In a "complicated
    agreement," Kroenke will purchase 30% of the team for a reported
    $60M (Jim Thomas, St. Louis POST-DISPATCH, 1/15).
         REAX:  NBC commentator Bob Costas, a St. Louis native: "We
    lost a team; now we've hijacked someone else's.  I would have
    preferred an expansion team -- it's cleaner, there is less
    heartache for someone else. ... Plus, I don't like how it's so
    corporate, so high-finance.  I know it's the way of sports in the
    1990's, but to have to pay a premium price to sit in a seat to
    meet the demands of a franchise that left a community so I can
    watch guys run around on a rug? (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES,
    1/17).  Paul Much, a financial adviser for several pro teams,
    called the deal "an unprecedented concession to a team, and a
    significant investment in the team and the city of St. Louis."
    Tom Sullivan, who heads The Campaign for Better Government in St.
    Louis: "I don't see any way people are going to ante up that much
    for PSL's" (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 1/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Franchises, NBC, St. Louis Rams
  • THE BUCS STOP WITH GLAZER

         Malcolm Glazer, the 66-year old Palm Beach financier,
    reached agreement yesterday with the trustees of the Hugh
    Culverhouse estate to buy the Buccaneers, according to this
    morning's ST. PETERSBURG TIMES.  The Bucs and Glazer "refused to
    disclose the price, but said it was the highest ever paid for a
    sports franchise," surpassing the $185M paid last year of the
    Eagles.  Because he made a "multi-tiered offer," the final
    purchase price could reach $192M if a new stadium is built in
    Tampa.  There was speculation that Glazer would move the
    franchise, but he is committed contractually to keeping the team
    in Tampa for a minimum of two years and said he has no intention
    of leaving.  Glazer: "I sure as heck would rather own a team in
    Tampa than I would in Baltimore. ... The Buc stops here.  Tampa
    Bay is going to have this team forever as far as the Glazers are
    concerned."  Steve Story, the spokesperson for the three-man
    trust in charge of selling the team, said the Glazer bid won out
    over higher offers because of Glazer's commitment to Tampa: "They
    showed every intent of keeping the team in Tampa.  That's been
    the trust's intent from Day One" (Mark Topkin, ST. PETERSBURG
    TIMES, 1/17).  Jack Donlan, another member of the trust, told the
    TAMPA TRIBUNE: "We had a lot of guys saying 'Yeah, we'll try to
    keep it there' or 'We'll see what we can work out'."  The move
    must be approved by NFL owners during their annual meetings in
    March.  Glazer said a new stadium would have to be built, and
    plans a series of meetings about stadium issues and "improving
    the community's financial support for the franchise" (Henderson &
    Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/17).
         REAX: Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who reportedly upped his
    offer to $211M over the weekend, was "disappointed" and hoped the
    deal would not be closed (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 1/17).
    Angelos said of Glazer's offer: "It would be a mistake to spend
    that kind of money to keep a team in Tampa" (Joel Poiley, TAMPA
    TRIBUNE, 1/17).  Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner did not
    comment on the sale, but his hopes of seeing the team stay in
    Tampa appeared fulfilled.
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, New York Yankees, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, YankeeNets
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