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POSSIBLE RAMS BUYER OFFERED OVER $200M FOR TEAM
Published March 20, 1995
Rams Owner Georgia Frontiere was offered $225M from a buyer who would keep the team in the L.A. area, according to Will McDonough of the BOSTON GLOBE. The proposal, "which came through the NFL office to Frontiere," was rejected last week at the league meetings. One owner said Frontiere would have received $200M up front and $5M a year for five years. The owner said there were "three parties interested in buying the team and keeping it in Anaheim. The $225 million was the best. Almost all of the owners would like to see her sell and get out of the league. There was a deal to be made here and the Rams screwed it up" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19). NEXT STEPS: Representatives of the Rams and FANS Inc. met for four hours in St. Louis to discuss their strategy. L.A. lawyer Max Blecher, who represented the L.A. Coliseum during the Raiders move in the early '80s, was present. The focus of the meeting was "retooling the relocation agreement" between FANS Inc. and the Rams, and possible legal action against the NFL. FANS Inc. spokesperson Tom Eagleton: "I think you're going to see some (legal) action by March 31st" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/18). But a move to St. Louis "is still a possibility," writes Pat Yasinskas in Tampa. "Don't be surprised if the Rams sweeten the pot for the league" (TAMPA TRIBUNE. 3/19). AND THE EXPERTS SAY: In an analysis of the NFL's history in anti-trust lawsuits, the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH examines the Rams' chances for legal success. Three factors from the owners' meeting "strengthen the Rams' case, should the team sue," according to anti-trust experts. 1) Statements by Patriots management saying they voted against the move because they could not compete with the Rams under the deal -- "this is a classic anti-competitive statement." 2) "Indications of collusion between the NFL and Fox." And, 3) The suggestion that the league treated Frontiere differently because she is a woman (O'Neil & Freivogel, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/18). THE BOYS CLUB: Although league management seeks to be "socially progressive," the owners' treatment of Frontiere proved "they are relative Neanderthals and hardly ready yet to follow the impressive lead" of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, according to Len Pasquarelli in Atlanta. It's "all too obvious there was some sexism involved" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/19). In Fort Worth, Brian Higgins writes the owners "engaged in a game at which they proved to be curiously adept. It's called extortion." Higgins believes that "for a league that prides itself on a slick business history, the NFL imposed a horribly unfair business decision on the Rams" (FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/19).