SBD/3/Franchises

RAMS UPDATE: SAVE THE RAMS PUTS IN LAST-DITCH EFFORT

     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).
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