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The city of Cincinnati, told Sunday by Bengals GM Mike Brown that a late concession payment broke the lease between the football team and city, blamed the situation on late payments from the Reds. Brown said the city did not deliver about $168,000 of concession money by a February deadline, which city officials blamed on a change in the payment patterns of the Reds. City Council members were given a brief on Monday by the city solicitor's office that disputed the Bengals claim that the lease was violated. Councilman Dwight Tillery: "It appears that Mike is beginning to wage a campaign that will make him look deserving of walking away from the city of Cincinnati." Brown made comments Monday that his team was a "free agent" because of the lease problem. Both Baltimore and St. Louis were mentioned as possible sites for the team if they were to leave Cincinnati (Richard Green, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/14). STAND BY YOUR MAN: Brown "has the support of several NFL owners in his clash with the city." Patriots Owner Robert Kraft: "We're in a similar situation. If you can't do something about the situation you're in you have to look elsewhere." Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen agreed: "The landscape is littered with cities who have refused to accommodate teams with better facilities. Cities have to realize stadiums are becoming a very big factor. When a city closes its eyes, it runs the risk of losing its team" (Geoff Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/14). In St. Louis, FANS Inc. spokesperson Al Kerth joked: "We're committed to doing everything in our power to seeing the Rams through. What's Mike's number? Just kidding" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/14).
U.S. Soccer officials will announce that Washington has been chosen as one of the sites to host U.S. Cup '95, according to this morning's WASHINGTON POST. Two of the tournament matches, including one with the U.S. team, will be held at RFK Stadium. The U.S. will take on Mexico on June 18 and Mexico will play Colombia in June 21. The games will be shown live on ABC and ESPN2. Other sites include Rutgers Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, and Foxboro Stadium (Steven Goff, WASHINGTON POST, 3/14).