SBD/15/Franchises

WHICH WAY WILL HE GO? REPORTS SWIRL AROUND RAIDERS' DAVIS

     The NFL's offer to help build the Raiders and Owner Al Davis
a new 68,000-seat stadium in Hollywood Park is one "he is going
to find difficult to refuse," according to Will McDonough in
Sunday's BOSTON GLOBE.  McDonough reports that the league has
assured Davis that two Super Bowls would be played at the new
facility shortly after it is completed, with Davis receiving
10,000 additional tickets to each game that he can distribute to
Raiders season ticket holders who purchase the personal seat
licenses that would help fund the facility.  In return, McDonough
reports, Davis must play all Raiders home games in L.A. while the
stadium is being built, and must allow an NFC team that could
move or be created with expansion, to occupy the stadium "at the
same rates as the Raiders pay to use the facility."  McDonough
writes that the NFL's Finance Committee developed the plan last
Thursday and sent it to Davis on Friday.  NFL Commissioner Paul
Tagliabue reportedly told Davis the Committee "unanimously
endorsed this offer, and that if Davis accepted, the committee
and Tagliabue would give it unanimous support" at league meetings
later this month.  One NFL owner told McDonough that "if Davis
accepts this proposal, he would go from one of the bottom-end
teams in the NFL in terms of gross revenue to second-highest"
(BOSTON GLOBE, 5/14).
     BACKUP PLAN?  In this morning's S.F. CHRONICLE, Glenn Dickey
reports that the league "has prepared a backup position" if the
deal with Davis falls through and he moves the Raiders back to
Oakland.  Dickey: "The league would immediately look for another
site which would be easily accessible both from Los Angeles and
Anaheim, with the idea of building a stadium which could be used
by two teams, one from each conference."  Dickey reports that
"ideally, the teams would be expansion teams, because the
existing teams would share in the expansion fees."  But Dickey
also notes that Cincinnati and Seattle are possibilities.
Dickey: "If both AFC teams moved to Los Angeles, the Seahawks
would be moved to the NFC West" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/15).
     NOT AN L.A. TYPE?  Dickey reports that "it seems almost
inconceivable that Davis would leave the rich Los Angeles market,
but to capitalize on the area's potential, a team must have good
marketing.  Davis knows nothing of marketing himself, and he has
nobody in the organization who does either."  Dickey also notes
that Davis' "primary goal" is winning, and the crowds in L.A. are
the "least partisan crowds in the league."  Dickey also notes
Davis' relationship with other league owners: "Because of the
extraordinary difficulty of dealing with Davis, there is some
sentiment within the league for allowing him to move back to
Oakland and starting fresh with new, more tractable owners in Los
Angeles" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/15).
     LOCAL POLITICOS:  If the Hollywood Park plan is not
approved, Coliseum officials "expect the Raiders to leave" for
Oakland or Baltimore.  L.A. Sports Council President David Simon:
"It's just a continuum.  We want the Raiders to stay here, but
what is occurring at the moment is the free market is creating an
environment for the Raiders to decide what to do next.  It's part
of the business side of sports" (Mark Katches, L.A. DAILY NEWS,
5/13).
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