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RAMS MOVE COULD HAVE BENGALS' BROWN CHANGING HIS STRIPES
Published April 11, 1995
A yes vote by NFL owners this week for a Rams relocation to St. Louis "will set in motion a series of events that could culminate in the Bengals leaving Cincinnati," according to Geoff Hobson in this morning's CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Hobson reports that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "has tapped the Bengals as a candidate to replace the Rams in the No. 2 television market of Southern California." Bengals President Mike Brown said for the first time Monday, that "he doubts a stadium will be built in Cincinnati." Brown refused to answer whether the team would play in Cincinnati after the '95 season. Brown: "The answer may be in. There probably isn't going to be a new stadium in Cincinnati. If there isn't, we know what that means. I'm not encouraged by the progress." Brown claims the team is no longer tied to its stadium lease that expires in '99 because the city was late making a $1.2M payment to the team (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/11). HERE, KITTY KITTY: Hobson notes three possible scenarios for a Bengals move. First, the team could move to Anaheim if the Rams leave. The NFL could help them fund a new stadium with some of the money taken from the Rams and possibly receive help from Save the Rams or Disney. Second, the Bengals could move to the L.A. Coliseum if the Raiders move to Anaheim or elsewhere. Third, the Bengals could move to Baltimore, where there is state funding in place to build a football-only stadium next to Camden Yards. John Moag, Chair of the Maryland Stadium Authority, had "no comment" when asked if he had spoken to Brown (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/11). In Baltimore, Vito Stellino reports that Brown's only business is football. Stellino: "Free agency, which has raised players' pay despite the salary cap, has put him in a financial squeeze because the Bengals are a low-revenue team at Riverfront Stadium" (Baltimore SUN, 4/11). MEANWHILE, BETWEEN L.A. & ST. LOUIS: Max Blecher, the Rams lead litigator in a possible court case over the right to move to St. Louis, is confident NFL owners will approve the move. Blecher told Jim Thomas of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: "I think you're going to get a football team on Wednesday." Rams President John Shaw was "less glib and less optimistic on the subject." Shaw: "I don't really have anything (new) to tell you" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/11).