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With reports that Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer's failed stock sale may put his deal for the team "in danger," Orioles Owner and Bucs suitor Peter Angelos said he has spoken with Bucs trust member Steve Story about the deal. Angelos "inquired" about whether the Bucs sale was in jeopardy. Angelos: "There are rumblings and they may be unfounded. But if not, we will renew our efforts" (Baltimore SUN, 2/16). ADVICE FOR GLAZER: If Glazer commits $10M toward a new stadium in Tampa as soon as his ownership is approved by the NFL, "Tampa Bay would be his," according to Gary Shelton of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. Shelton writes, "We are not just talking money here. We are talking credibility." Since the building of a new stadium is viewed as a necessity, Glazer could "wait for it to happen. Or take a firm step and lead the way" (Gary Shetlon, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/16).
The Lions may leave the Silverdome and move to Detroit unless the city of Pontiac renegotiates its lease, according to reports this morning in the DETROIT NEWS. Lions VP William Clay Ford, Jr., said he has met with Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer about the team returning to the city it left in 1975. Ford: "He would love to have us back." The Lions receive no income from parking, stadium concessions, or luxury suites, pay more than $2M on ticket surcharge, office spaces and game-day expenses. Ford said the Lions are the only team in the NFL that doesn't receive such stadium generated revenue. Ford: "When we signed our lease, it was a fine lease. The problem is, the competitive landscape has changed dramatically in the NFL" (DETROIT NEWS, 2/16).
The CHL San Antonio Iguanas will compete "tooth and nail" against an IHL team if one moves to the city. The SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS reported Wednesday that Spurs officials are "exploring the idea" of luring an IHL team for the Alamodome. If the IHL grants a team to the Alamodome, CHL officials "suggested they will consider lowering ticket prices" for the coming season, but will not move out of the city. CHL Commissioner Monte Miron admitted the IHL is "a step above us," but "it's still minor league." Miron on the viability of an IHL franchise in San Antonio: "I know if it was my money, I wouldn't invest it in the IHL (in San Antonio). I don't think they will make it" in San Antonio. The Iguanas are averaging 5,258 fans in the San Antonio Coliseum (Jerry Briggs, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS, 2/16).
NFL owners will hear testimony in Dallas today from the Rams and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's "fact-finding team" regarding the team's impending move to St. Louis. Owners will not officially vote on the move until their March meeting in Phoenix. Two items that owners are "expected to address" are the "preservation of the television contract" and the compensation the Rams would pay the league for moving the team to St. Louis. Regarding TV, NFL owners "are expected to seek assurances today that the Raiders will continue to give the league" a presence in L.A -- the nation's second largest TV market (Michele Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 2/16). During ESPN's coverage of the expansion draft, Chris Berman reported that the Rams' move is not a done deal (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/16).