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WHAT'S NEXT FOR NFL, L.A., CLEVELAND, CINCINNATI, TORONTO?
Published April 13, 1995
Following approval of the Rams' move, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said that putting another NFC team in the L.A. market is a "high priority": "We hope to be able to put together a plan to have a second team in L.A. It could be expansion or it could be the relocation of an existing franchise." A vote on the Raiders' stadium could come at the owners' May meetings in Jacksonville (T.J. Simers, L.A. TIMES, 4/13). In L.A., Bill Plashke writes to expect an existing NFL team to move to L.A. after the Raiders move into their new stadium in '97. That team "will either join the Raiders in their new park or play in a refurbished Anaheim Stadium." Plashke also expects "that this new team will not be like the Rams, or the Cincinnati Bengals, or any other club accused of poor ownership." Plashke reports that the NFL has a plan for L.A., quoting a league official: "We're controlling this move and this market from the start." Plashke: "The league will examine the candidates and choose a winner just in time for the beginning of negotiations on the new TV contract," which expires in '97. Finally, Plashke predicts "the better the team in the nation's second-largest TV market, the better the contract. ... Worry not. Officials have assured that it will not be an expansion team" (L.A. TIMES, 4/13). HISTORY REPEATS? The Rams, originally from Cleveland, moved to L.A. in '46. Gordon Forbes reports that the NFL's deal with the Rams gives the team only a proxy vote on any realignment, "meaning the Rams could end up in an AFC division." Forbes: "Cleveland and Cincinnati are itching for St. Louis-type deals. They are both AFC teams" (USA TODAY, 4/13). This morning's CINCINNATI ENQUIRER reports rumors of a Bengals' move to CA may not be viable. "A source close to the situation" says Bengals President Mike Brown "isn't the high-profile go-getter the NFL and Orange County have in mind" for Southern CA. The ENQUIRER also calls Browns Owner Art Modell "a better fit" for L.A. But Modell denies the Browns are candidates: "Not until my city has been given every opportunity" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/13). OH, CANADA? In this morning's TORONTO SUN, the AP's Gary Picknell writes that the Rams move "could accelerate the expansion process." TORONTO SUN CEO Paul Godfrey, who is "spearheading the drive" for an NFL team in Toronto, says "I see this as a positive step" (TORONTO SUN, 4/13).