SBD/20/Franchises

EAGLETON "SURPRISED" BY NFL SPECIAL MEETING

     Former Senator Tom Eagleton, who heads FANS, Inc. -- the
civic group negotiating the Rams' move to St. Louis -- was
"caught off guard" by the announcement that NFL Commissioner Paul
Tagliabue "wants to review all aspects of the Rams' relocation."
Tagliabue has called for a special February 16 meeting in Dallas
to review the move, and NFL owners are supposed to vote on the
deal at their spring meetings in March.  Eagleton:  "Am I
surprised?  Yes.  Am I downcast? No. I think when it is reviewed
they will see that all the requirements and criteria that are
needed for such a move the Rams have met" (Timothy Smith, N.Y.
TIMES, 1/20).
     MORE SUITES: The Rams have asked FANS, Inc. to build 20 more
luxury boxes in time for the stadium's opening in October,
raising the number of luxury suites to 120.  Premium seat sales
in St. Louis seem to be strong:  80 of the 120 suites are already
spoken for.  FANS spokesperson Al Kerth said that FANS has
commitments for 5,400 of the 6,388 club seats.  The deal with the
Rams guarantees commitments   -- including a deposit and a signed
contract -- of 6,000 club seats by mid-March (Robert Steyer, ST.
LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/20).
     MORE FALLOUT?  Angels Owner Jackie Autry warned that if
attendance at Angels games does not pick up, the team could
follow the Rams out of town: "It is time for Orange County to
wake up.  If they don't the only team left in Anaheim may be a
hockey club."  The N.Y. POST's Tom Keegan writes of Autry's
remark: "Threatening fans in the midst of a work stoppage ...
always adds such a nice public relations touch" (Tom Keegan, N.Y.
POST, 1/20).
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