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NFL NEWS & NOTES: DODGERS' O'MALLEY PITCHES FOR L.A. TEAM
Published September 11, 1995
Dodgers Owner Peter O'Malley said Friday that "he is willing to be the driving force behind the return of professional football to Los Angeles by building a new stadium on Dodger Stadium property and 'possibly' owning an expansion team," according to the L.A. TIMES. A proposal endorsed by O'Malley "received rave reviews during a meeting [last] week by owners on the NFL Stadium Committee, who believe that a team could be playing in an O'Malley-built facility by 1998." The TIMES notes that the NFL has already made an exception to its cross-ownership rules for Wayne Huizenga, and "it is believed they would make another exception to accommodate O'Malley, whose history as a stable, 'fan-friendly' sports owner is unmatched." One NFL source predicted the league would endorse a Dodger Stadium plan, but O'Malley is yet to meet with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue -- so no agreement is expected soon. The Committee makes its recommendations to general ownership on September 19 in Atlanta. The TIMES also reports that NFL sources say the Coliseum is not an option, that Hollywood Park has fallen out of favor because of the planned facility's "proximity" to gambling, and that Disney Chair Michael Eisner "has yet to convice influential owners that he is serious about bringing a team to Orange County." One representative of Football LA, a mayorally-appointed task force: "L.A. needs a hero, and Peter O'Malley can be that person" (Plaschke & Simer, L.A. TIMES, 9/10). Officials in Anaheim were "caught off-guard," according to the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. But Tony Tavares, President of Disney Sports Enterprises, said of their interest: "We are still interested in owning an NFL team. We are going through the process in a businesslike way, through the right channels" (Janis Carr, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/10). CLOCK'S TICKING: MD Gov. Parris Glendening has sent a letter to the NFL formally warning league officials "that if they do not promise by December to move a team to Baltimore, Maryland's offer to build a publicly financed stadium in Camden Yards will probably disappear," according to the Baltimore SUN. Maryland Stadium Authority Chair John Moag, to NFL owners: "You need to be aware that the opportunity in Baltimore -- which is currently the only turnkey opportunity for any NFL team in the country -- is not going to be available a lot longer." Glendening and Moag did not set a specific deadline (John Frece, Baltimore SUN, 9/9). APPAREL POLICE: ABC's Armen Keteyian reported on the NFL's crackdown on dress code violations. NFL Dir of Player Devlopment Gene Washington: "We have companies pay licensing fees to be on the field and on our sideline. It's important to us that they get full value." Cowboys QB Troy Aikman: "This has gone purely beyond corporate advertising. It's ridiculous" ("World News Sunday," ABC, 9/10).