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  • NFL OWNERS EXPECTED TO APPROVE RAIDERS PLAN TODAY

         NFL owners are "expected to approve" today a reworked
    proposal for the relocation of the Raiders to a new stadium at
    Hollywood Park, according to today's L.A. TIMES.  The plan still
    would give L.A. two Super Bowls and another team by '98, while
    reducing the relocation payment for that team by about 50%.  But
    the league still "steadfastly refuses" to give in to Hollywood
    Park CEO R.D. Hubbard's demand of $20M in aid to build the
    stadium.  NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue:  "The league is a
    league, not a bank."  If the plan is approved, it will be up to
    Davis to pay the $20M himself or persuade Hubbard to "live
    without it" (Plaschke & Springer, L.A. TIMES, 5/24).  ESPN's
    Chris Mortensen reported discussions became "heated and
    theatrical" to the point that a vote was put on hold until
    sometime today.  NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue: "Instead of
    talking about revenue assistance to one team, namely the Raiders,
    we should be talking about revenue assistance to the 15 teams who
    are below the league average, and I think that is where it got
    heated" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 5/23).
         IF THE PLAN IS APPROVED:  Terms of the deal say that the
    Raiders must remain in the L.A. area for at least the next two
    seasons while the stadium is being built.  While they have the
    option to play either at Anaheim Stadium or at the Coliseum,
    Tagliabue believes that they would remain at the Coliseum to
    "maintain the fan base."  If construction begins later this year
    and stays on schedule, the Raiders would move in and begin play
    in '97.  With the current TV deals expiring at the end of '97,
    the league will promise the networks that anothet team will move
    to L.A. in '98 and join the NFC after a possible realignment.
    The Browns "remain the leading candidate."  For the two Super
    Bowls, Raiders Owner Al Davis would receive rights to market
    10,000 tickets for each Super Bowl as an incentive for Raiders'
    fans to purchase premium club seats (L.A. TIMES, 5/24).
         IF THE PLAN ISN'T APPROVED:  In the "unlikely" case that the
    plan is not approved today, the league is reportedly prepared for
    Davis to move to Oakland as soon as this year.  Tagliabue:  "If
    the Raiders want to leave, we can deal with L.A. without the
    Raiders" (L.A. TIMES, 5/24).
         HOW DOES DISNEY FIT?  Most reports indicate that the second
    L.A. team would most likely be a relocated existing NFL
    franchise.  But in Orange County, Michelle Himmelberg writes
    since a second team "doesn't necessarily have to play" at
    Hollywood Park," a suitable stadium deal in Anaheim might be an
    option for Disney.  Disney has reportedly had "aggressive talks"
    with the NFL concerning an expansion team for Anaheim (ORANGE
    COUNTY REGISTER, 5/24).
         SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FRANCHISE:  An other topic at the owners
    meetings yesterday was the wearing of bandannas, or "do-rags," by
    players.  The league reaffirmed a rule that players can wear them
    -- as long as they match the team's colors and do not advocate a
    cause (WASHINGTON POST, 5/24).
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Walt Disney
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