SBD/1/Franchises

COUCH POTATOES EVERYWHERE REJOICE! IT'S NFL KICKOFF '95

     Sunday marks the start of the NFL's 76th season, with new
teams in Jacksonville and Carolina, and two old teams in new
cities -- the Rams in St. Louis and the Raiders returning to
Oakland.  Here's a roundup of what's going on around the league:
     THEY'RE SOLD OUT:  In Oakland, the TV blackout for Sunday's
Raiders-Chargers game has been lifted as 14,000 single-game
tickets were sold between Sunday and yesterday (Koury & Martinez,
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/1).  A rally will be held today in
Oakland's Jack London Square celebrating the team's return (S.F.
CHRONICLE, 9/1).
     THEY'RE BLACKED OUT:  The Eagles' season opener against the
Bucs will be blacked out in the Delaware Valley, as more than
6,000 seats remain unsold at Veterans Stadium.  This is the
second time in three years an Eagles opener has failed to sell
out.  NFL TV Coordinator Val Pinchbeck said more than one-third
(88 of 224) NFL games were blacked out in home markets in '94
(Mike Bruton, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/1).  In Seattle, the
Seahawks had sold only 50,500 tickets as of Wednesday for
Sunday's opener against the Chiefs in the 66,400-seat Kingdome.
Last year, five Seahawks home games were blacked out (TACOMA NEWS
TRIBUNE, 8/31).  Other blackouts this weekend:  Atlanta,
Indianapolis, New Orleans.
     THEY'RE LOCKED IN, FOR THIS WEEK:  TX District Judge William
Bell yesterday granted Harris County a temporary restraining
order against the Oilers barring them from playing home games
outside the Astrodome.  A full injunction hearing will be held
September 13 that could force the team to stay in the dome
through '97.  County officials say the court action was due to
concerns that the team may "try a repeat of the preseason
episode" when a game was cancelled due to poor turf conditions
(HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/1).
     THEY'RE ISSUING A WARNING:  Daniel Connell, the Jaguars
Senior VP/Marketing said yesterday that the "people of Houston
need to realize the fact that the Oilers could leave," and that
bad feelings toward Owner Bud Adams should not "overrule any
business logic."  Connell warned of the difficulties of getting a
new team (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/1).
     THEY'RE CLEARING THE AIR:  The Jaguars Foundation has
received a grant to promote anti-smoking initiatives in and
around the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.  The Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation gave the team $137,000 to develop and install
anti-smoking signs in the stadium concourse, including one on the
center panel of the North scoreboard.  The program will also put
anti-smoking messages on 50,000 cards distributed by the team.
The Jaguars do not accept tobacco advertising or sell tobacco
products (Jaguars).
     THEY'RE TEACHING:  CBS profiled the Jets' "Football 101" --
a class aimed at women. Jets exec Douglas Miller:  "We've found
studies that show women are the fastest growing group of fans
that there are" ("CBS This Morning," 9/1).
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