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LIONS SET JANUARY DEADLINE ON SILVERDOME
Published October 26, 1995
The Lions have set a January deadline to get a new Silverdome lease negotiated with Pontiac, MI, officials, according to this morning's DETROIT NEWS. If the deadline is not met, the Lions will move out. To do so, the team would have to buy out the remaining years on their lease. The deadline announcement caused Oakland County Exec L. Brooks Patterson to say "there's just a slight chance" the Lions will stay in the Silverdome after 2004. Pontiac officials wouldn't comment, but apparently "won't bargain" until a new mayor is elected next week. The Lions claim if the city "doesn't make some concessions in the current agreement," the team will lose $13M over the next 10 years. Silverdome Exec Dir Eric Walker says he sees "a lot of discrepancies in the team's figures," and claims the team "really wants a $3 million annual windfall at the expense of the city." Lions COO Chuck Schmidt, who described the team's lease as "among the worst stadium leases" in the NFL, said the team has proposed to take over the $4.4M in interest payments construction bonds until 2004 and to manage the dome (John Larabee, DETROIT NEWS, 10/26).