SBD/31/Franchises

YOU CAN ALWAYS GO HOME: RAIDERS OFFICIALS TOUR IN OAKLAND

     Raiders officials toured the Oakland Coliseum yesterday
"examining the details" of the $85M proposal by Oakland to
upgrade the facility for football, according to this morning's
OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  David Li and Dave Newhouse report that the plan
would increase football seating to 65,000 and require the team to
sign a 16-year lease.  Raiders Owner Al Davis was not among the
Raiders contingent.  Coliseum President George Vukasin: "The
officials are here just to get a better focus on what's happening
here" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 5/31).  In San Francisco, columnist Art
Spander advises in dealing with Davis:  "Rule No. 1:  Al Davis
would dare to do anything, not that this means he would be
leaning toward Oakland over the 'mortal lock' in Southern
California.  Rule No. 2:  When you think you know everything,
refer to Rule No. 1" (S.F. EXAMINER, 5/30).
     OAKLAND BELIEVERS: BOSTON GLOBE columnist Will McDonough
thinks the chances are "60-40" that Davis will leave L.A. and
return to Oakland.  McDonough believes that the $20M a year Davis
stands to make in Oakland, or possibly Baltimore -- before
Hollywood Park is built -- will pull the Raiders out of L.A.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen:  "I think the Oakland move is more of an
option than people think.  At the league meetings I was told that
Oakland has a very sweet offer."  However, Mortensen says, "in
the end," he believes Davis will stay (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY,
5/31). In Seattle, where Seahawks Owner Ken Behring reportedly is
interested in joining Davis in L.A., columnist Art Thiel agrees
Davis could leavel: "If he finds a city as shameless as St. Louis
-- Oakland, Baltimore, San Antonio, Memphis and Toronto would
make that list -- he will leave and create a second void that
would have owners selling their children wholesale to get to
L.A." (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 5/31).
     NOBODY WALKS ON L.A.?  The Raiders' potential deal at and
Hollywood Park leads this week's "Scorecard" in SI.  "In its
desperation to retain at least one franchise in the nation's
second-largest TV market," SI states, "the NFL is buying into a
fantasy that owes a lot more to 'Field of Dreams' than to what
passes for real life, even in Los Angeles."  The magazine
proposes that building a winner is more important in L.A. than a
nice stadium (SI, 6/5 issue).
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