SBD/9/Facilities Venues

LIONS AND TIGERS COULD SHARE DOWNTOWN STADIUM

     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).
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