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LIONS AND TIGERS COULD SHARE DOWNTOWN STADIUM
Published May 9, 1995
Lions Vice Chair William Clay Ford Jr. said lease negotiations with officials at the Pontiac Silverdome are "frustratingly slow, and the team continues to pursue other stadium options," according to David Barkholz of CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS. Barkholz notes the Lions "have not ruled out a joint deal for a new downtown Detroit stadium with the Tigers." Ford said the Lions' would like to remain in Pontiac, but the team wants to "manage the stadium rather than lease it to get at revenue sources currently denied the team." FINANCIAL WORLD recently ranked the Lions' franchise value at 26 out of 28 NFL teams -- primarily due to the fact that the Lions get no stadium revenue. But Ford says: "We need to get this resolved soon. If we have to, we could get out of our lease by paying off the last few years and leaving if our (new) stadium is ready early. But I keep getting back to this point: It makes so much sense for Pontiac and us to do this deal (so) that it can and will work" (David Barkholz, CRAIN"S DETROIT BUSINESS, 5/1-7). FIRST INTERVIEW: Ford also gave his first full-length interview since his promotion to vice chair. In the CRAIN'S DETROIT interview, the topics covered include the Lions' stadium situation and the current state of the NFL. Ford: "The one trend I see that I don't like is the growing tendency for each franchise to fend for itself. I think what made the league strong is the fact that the NFL has done things for the good of all franchises. ... The TV revenue is shared. ... NFL Properties, which sells all of the paraphernalia and is a huge business, is absolutely split 30 ways. ... You don't have the 'haves' and 'have nots' that you have in other sports. It's made for a much stronger league" (CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 5/1-7 issue).