SBD/17/Franchises

FRONTIERE AND RAMS TAKE CASE TO NFL

     Rams Owner Georgia Frontiere took her case for moving the
team to St. Louis to fellow NFL owners yesterday in Dallas.  The
league will now study the proposal before Commissioner Paul
Tagliabue makes a recommendation on whether to approve or reject
the move before the league's spring meeting in March.  During a
"privileged" conference with team owners, Tagliabue said the
issue of a relocation fee and the Rams plans for revenue they
will receive from PSL's "was discussed, but not in detail."  He
declined to say if the league would ask for such a fee, or how
much it would be.  The Rams have stated they shouldn't have to
pay a relocation fee (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 2/17).
     NOT A SLAM DUNK:  League sources "indicated several owners
are not yet convinced the Rams have met the league's criteria for
relocation."  One NFL source: "This is not a slam dunk by any
means" (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 2/17).  ESPN's Chris
Mortenson reported last night that the league is "most concerned"
about the Rams' failure to negotiate "in good faith" with parties
in Southern CA to remain in the area.  Save the Rams, a Southern
CA civic group, has been given 30 days by the league "to document
it's promise to build a new stadium for the Rams."  Mortenson
says if Save the Rams is successful in proving their claims, the
Rams move "won't be rubber stamped, and will spark serious
debate" at the owners meeting in March ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
2/16).  If the Rams pay a large moving fee, "they'll get the
votes next month," according to Bernie Miklasz.  Miklasz says the
reason for the "foot-dragging" in the move is that the NFL is "a
cartel, run by a control-freak commissioner" (ST. LOUIS POST
DISPATCH, 2/17).
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