SBD/5/Franchises

DAVIS' DECISION ON HOLLYWOOD PARK MAY BE THIS WEEK

     Today is the day Al Davis has told friends that he will make
a decision on where his team will play, according to Bill
Plaschke in the L.A. TIMES.  Plaschke reports that Hollywood Park
CEO R.D. Hubbard "not coincidentally" will also tell the league
whether he will accept terms that would give him all the rent
"from a second NFL tenant, a team that would begin playing in the
Inglewood stadium in 1998, a year after it opens."  Plaschke also
reports that Hubbard "appears willing to begin construction
without" the $20M Davis had requested from the league in earlier
negotiations.  However, "sources close to Davis insist that the
only game Davis is concerned with is on the field."  According to
"one confidant," Davis is "seeking the winning edge," and feels
that his team lacks "a true home-field advantage."  Plaschke
reports that Davis' friends say he is worried that the Hollywood
Park project could be delayed by funding or legal problems -- or
a natural disaster.  Plaschke: "He is 65, he has a team he
considers Super Bowl material and he is determined to get back to
football's big show for the first time in 11 years."  Plaschke
reports that Davis tells friends that in Oakland, "he sees
himself back in the comforts of an old home where the fans can be
expected to fill the park, resume their love affair with the
team, bellow their rage at the opposition and generally provide
the kind of home-field advantage he see in places such as Kansas
City, Dallas and Buffalo" (L.A. TIMES, 6/4).
     JUST A FEELING:  NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw told Will
McDonough he has a feeling the Raiders will go back to Oakland.
Upshaw: "I spoke with him [Davis] a few weeks ago and he talked
about the tradition and having a better chance to win back there.
I can't say it's a deal, that's just my own personal feeling"
(BOSTON GLOBE, 6/4).
     NOT SO FAST:  ESPN's Chris Mortensen on the situation in
L.A.:  "I think Al Davis is going to take his time [to make a
decision].  If the Bengals go to Baltimore, Ohio has to keep the
Browns.  So this is going to be a story for another couple of
months" ("Sunday SportsDay," ESPN, 6/4).
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