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Chicago Restauranteur Horn Chen is expected to make an offer for the Ottawa Rough Riders, just days after AL-based businessman Elliot Maisel declined to buy the team because of its large debts, according to this morning's OTTAWA CITIZEN. The CFL is expected to drop a stipulation that was a part of the deal with Maisel that would keep the Riders in Ottawa for the next two years, but Chen is not expected to move the team right away. Meanwhile, Bruce Firestone, the team's current owner, said yesterday he faxed CFL Commissioner Larry Smith "details of a $2- million U.S. offer which involves moving the team to an undisclosed American city" (Don Campbell, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 3/3).
Leaders of Save the Rams met with NFL execs Wednesday "amid signs that the league won't rubber stamp" the team's move to St. Louis. Anaheim City Manager Jim Ruth, local businessman Wayne Wedin and former Disneyland President Jack Lindquist met with the NFL's finance committee and discussed details of a local offer to keep the team in Southern CA. Former Mariners Owner George Argyros reportedly is willing to buy the Rams from Georgia Frontiere if the team is "forced to stay" in Anaheim. A vote on the move is expected to come at the NFL owners' annual meeting March 12-17 in Phoenix. The team's use of funds from the sale of Permanent Seat Licenses could also be an issue at those meetings. NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello: "Whether PSL money, in this case can be shared or not is a matter of debate within the league." Under the NFL's revenue-sharing rules, teams may keep only 60% of money made from ticket sales. The team is planning to keep all of the $60M raised through PSL sales in St. Louis. The league previously waived its share of PSL money from the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are using the $200M they raised to build a new stadium in Charlotte (Mouchard & Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/2). LOWER-END PRICED OUT: FANS Inc. announced its policy on the allocation of the nearly 74,000 applications it received for the 46,000 seats available in the new St. Louis domed stadium. All of the 11,700 applicants for the least expensive section -- $250 PSL -- "are basically out of luck." FANS used a "bumping process" that favored higher-priced applications. The second or third choices of these applications took precedence over first choices for the lower priced PSLs. FANS Inc.'s Thomas Eagleton: "There's nothing we can do about that. We can't invent 28,000 seats out of thin air" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/3).