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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).
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