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  • BOB KRAFT TESTS MASSACHUSETTS' PATRIOTIC FERVOR

         The fallout continues from Patriots Owner Robert Kraft's
    comments in the BOSTON GLOBE on Sunday that he may have to move
    the team if he doesn't get financial help from the state.  On
    Tuesday, a Senate committee dropped a $35M appropriation for
    highway improvements in the area of Foxboro Stadium.  Sources
    close to the issue said it was because legislators were "angered
    by Kraft's complaints about his treatment by the state" (Richard
    Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 2/1).  Yesterday, Gov. William Weld
    reiterated his desire to assist Kraft, although he said he never
    made any specific offers of state help.  Weld:  "I think we
    should help him out."  But later, Weld said that he hoped that
    "before we spend a lot of money on keeping the Patriots here, we
    might want to elicit a commitment from the Patriots to stay in
    Massachusetts for the next ten years or so."  Weld will file
    legislation within a month "aimed at improving Foxboro Stadium
    parking and access" (Lehigh & Howe, BOSTON GLOBE, 2/2).  Weld
    said he would be willing to "spend something less" than $100M to
    have the team stay in Foxboro if plans for a Boston stadium fall
    through:   "With infrastructure support and if [Kraft] got ...
    the club seats and luxury boxes,  I think he could make money in
    Foxboro" (Robert Connolly, BOSTON HERALD, 2/2).
         UNPATRIOTIC?  Kraft has been the focus of editorials and
    columns since Sunday.  The BOSTON GLOBE'S Dan Shaughnessy writes
    Kraft "did a good thing" and saved the franchise.  "But he
    overpaid for the team.  Now he is coming at us, tin cup in hand,
    asking for dough to improve his football stadium.  It's kind of
    like me asking my neighbors to bail me out on that mortgage."  An
    editorial in yesterday's GLOBE states:  "While the state should
    finance road improvements at Foxboro Stadium, subsidizing the
    company that does business there is more troublesome. ... It
    would be unwise for the state to make deals that solely benefit
    private sports franchises (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/1).  The BOSTON HERALD
    states that Kraft has "a lot to learn" about dealing with state
    government, but calls on the state to fund the "needed" road
    improvements (BOSTON HERALD, 2/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New England Patriots
  • DAVIS TELLS COLISEUM THAT THE RAIDERS WILL LOOK ELSEWHERE

         L.A. Coliseum commissioners said yesterday the Raiders have
    not "exercised a contract option to play in the facility next
    season."  According to terms of a deal signed last year "under
    which the Raiders played rent free," the team had 30 days after
    its final game to exercise an option to play next season under a
    new contract.  The commissioners reported that Raiders Owner Al
    Davis has stated that he will not play in the Coliseum next
    season, and has mentioned Anaheim Stadium, Dodger Stadium or the
    Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as possible alternatives.  Last
    month the Coliseum Commission decided not to extend the option
    deadline for the team, and said the Raiders "could not count on
    playing rent free again."  Raiders attorney Amy Trask said while
    the team "did not exercise our option, we are in constant
    communications with commission representatives and have not
    foreclosed any possibilities."  The commissioners also said it is
    possible a CFL team could play a 10-game home schedule beginning
    in June and not interfere with the Raiders or USC schedules
    (Kenneth Reich, L.A. TIMES, 2/2).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises, Oakland Raiders
  • DOES TARGET CENTER DEAL NEED TO BE IN PLACE BY FEBRUARY 13?

         Henry Savelkoul, Chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities
    Commission said Wednesday that a Target Center buyout package
    must be in place by February 13 or the Twin Cities again "could
    face the loss of the Timberwolves."  February 13 is the date the
    NBA's Board of Governors meets in Phoenix during All-Star
    weekend.  Savelkoul: "My concern is that we have the owners all
    getting together at the All-Star Game in about 10 days, and if we
    don't have it done by that time they might say, 'We're going to
    make a decision.'"  Savelkoul did say that no NBA official "had
    specifically warned him that the NBA had such definitive plans."
    March 1 is the deadline for team owners to advise the league of
    intentions to relocate.  Wolves and Target Center co-owner Marv
    Wolfenson said that he and partner Harvey Ratner have not filed a
    relocation application "nor did they plan to do so."  Glen Taylor
    has an agreement to buy the Wolves, provided the public buyout of
    the Target Center is completed (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR
    TRIBUNE, 2/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA
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