SBD/26/Franchises

THE RAIDERS SIGN LETTER OF INTENT TO RETURN TO OAKLAND

     "Ending weeks of nail-biting anticipation," Raiders Owner Al
Davis and Oakland Coliseum President George Vukasin signed an
agreement to "bring the team back to Oakland after 13 years of
exile," according to the S.F. CHRONICLE.  The deal will not be
final until the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board
of Supervisors hold three public meetings -- one each for three
weeks beginning tomorrow.  Coliseum directors want both governing
bodies to consent by July 11 so they can close the deal by August
15 (Fagan, DelVecchio, & Fimrite, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 6/24).
          HIGHLIGHTS:  The deal would be for 16 years, beginning
     in '96, with the '95 season as a transition year.  The
     Coliseum will undergo $85M in improvements, including
     expansion to 65,000 with 175 luxury suites and new locker
     rooms -- all to be completed by '96 exhibition games and
     financed by public bonds.  The Raiders receive 100% of
     ticket and luxury suite revenue, but will share concessions
     and parking with the Coliseum (L.A. TIMES, 6/24).
          WILL IT BE APPROVED?  Several NFL sources said Friday
     the league will not prevent the Raiders from moving to
     Oakland and that the 49ers have "no argument for
     compensation, since there is nonspecific league policy
     regarding territorial rights."  Sources also said that NFL
     Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has decided to "urge the
     ownership to allow the switch rather than fight it" (Nancy
     Gay, KNIGHT RIDDER/TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE, 6/23).  In L.A.,
     Steve Springer writes, "This time, the Raiders are expected
     to get the league's blessing."  An owners' meeting has been
     tentatively scheduled for July 14 (L.A. TIMES, 6/25).
          L.A. LOOKS FOR A NEW TEAM:  With the No. 2 media market
     without an NFL team, several teams were reportedly
     interested, including the Cardinals, Bengals, Browns,
     Seahawks.  The Hollywood Park site that Davis spurned is
     "expected to become merely one of many prospective homes"
     for a new L.A. stadium to replace the Coliseum.  Other
     possible stadium sites include Orange County and one in L.A.
     -- backed by CAA's Michael Ovitz (Steve Springer, L.A.
     TIMES, 6/24).  In Anaheim, Disney Chair Michael Eisner has
     contacted owners about building a football-only stadium next
     to Anaheim Stadium.  He is also proposing to build a
     "football fantasy world" (John Cherwa, L.A. TIMES, 6/24).
     L.A. Coliseum Commissioner Sheldon Sloan:  "I've been
     contacted by three separate groups, one a major company
     capable of buying five franchises, and two other groups led
     by prominent local businessmen, who want to either purchases
     an existing team or form an expansion team to play in the
     Coliseum" (Kenneth Reich, L.A. TIMES, 6/24).
          WHAT THEY'RE SAYING:  In L.A., Michael Ventre writes on
     the possible move of the Cardinals to L.A., "[Cards Owner
     Bill Bidwill's] team is coached by Buddy Ryan, who belongs
     in L.A. the way the Ebola virus belongs inside a crowded
     arena" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/25).  In New York, Timothy Smith
     writes, "In this stage in his life ... a winning legacy
     might have a stronger allure to Davis than more dollars"
     (N.Y. TIMES, 6/25).  In Boston, Ron Borges writes, "As Davis
     will learn if he really does abandon the nation's second-
     largest TV market for the bad side of the bay ... things are
     not the same just because you move back home" (BOSTON GLOBE,
     6/25).  L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky:  "Good
     riddance as far as I'm concerned" ("World News Tonight,"
     ABC, 6/23).  CNN's Paul Craine:  "It is never too late to
     come home again, as long as you have a good luxury suite
     package" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 6/23).
          NEXT ONES TO GO?  Bengals President Mike Brown said
     this weekend that he has set a deadline for Cincinnati and
     Hamilton County officials of Thursday to finalize an
     agreement for a new stadium.  If an agreement can not be
     signed, Brown said that he will "terminate discussions" with
     local officials and begin negotiating with a group trying to
     lure an NFL team to Baltimore (Baltimore SUN, 6/25).
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