CFL Commissioner Larry Smith announced that he was suspending the Las Vegas Posse franchise for the '95 season, leaving the league "with a cumbersome 13 teams, an unbalanced schedule and a seeming credibility crisis," according to the Baltimore SUN's Ken Murray. The death of the Posse marks the first failure of a U.S.-based CFL franchise, after repeated efforts to place the team in Los Angeles, Mobile, AL, and Jackson, MS, all failed. Baltimore CFL owner Jim Speros says a deal to sell the team to Northern VA investor William Collins and move them to Jackson failed when the Posse's owners asked for an additional $250,000 on top of the $1.8M sale price. Speros adds that the Vegas owners, Glenn Golenberg and Marshall Geller, threatened a lawsuit when the league "talked about revoking the publicly held franchise and awarding a new franchise to Collins in Jackson." Speros says the Posse's demise could be beneficial for any U.S. TV-contract in the league's future: "Some people have said to me, 'It seems like minor league to go to Mississippi.' That's what I first thought too" (Baltimore SUN, 4/5). MONTREAL IN '96? New Rough Riders owner Horn Chen has acquired the rights to the Montreal market as part of his deal to acquire the team and is negotiating to help put a CFL team there for the '96 season. Chen's intent is not to move the Riders, but to "renew the team's rivalry" with Montreal, according to Chen spokesperson Al Howell. Former Riders president Phil Kershaw will be assigned to redevelop the CFL market in Montreal (TORONTO SUN, 4/4).
Raiders Executive Assistant Al LoCastle denied reports that the team has told the NFL to hold off on travel plans to Southern CA as they consider an offer to play in Baltimore for the '95 season. LoCastle: "The schedules are not even out yet. How could we tell anyone not to come here when we don't even know what the schedule is?" According to today's OAKLAND TRIBUNE, "behind the scenes" efforts continue in an effort to lure the Raiders back to Oakland. LoCastle: "We used to joke, just get on the plane and by the time you get to the Rockies call us and we'll tell you whether to bend north (to Oakland) or south (to Los Angeles). But seriously, no, there's been nothing like that" (David Li, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/5).