SBD/16/Franchises

A TALE OF TWO TEAMS IN ONE CITY OF TEXAS

     Oilers Owner Bud Adams signed an agreement to move his team
to Tennessee, possibly next season, according this morning's
HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  The nonbinding deal was signed after
Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen and negotiators flew to Houston to
"iron out Adams' last-second requests, one of which was
reportedly adding a 10-year option to the Oilers' 30-year stadium
lease, a change Adams sought to protect his heirs."  A signing
ceremony is scheduled for today in Nashville and the Metro
Council is scheduled to approve the deal Tuesday.  Adams said he
"is comfortable" with the deal, and not concerned by the length
of the contract, which calls for "stiff penalties" should the
team leave earlier.  Adams: "We've been in Houston for 36 years.
Thirty years is not a problem."  The deal calls for the team to
begin play in TN in '98, but '96 is possible under a buy-out of
the Astrodome lease.  Both sides have an out option in March, but
John Williams writes it "seems unlikely anything will happen in
Houston to change Adams' mind" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/16).
Headline in this morning's Nashville TENNESSEAN:  "If we build
it, Bud will come" (TENNESSEAN, 11/16).
     NEXT!  While officials in Houston saw the next step in the
possible relocation of the Oilers, community leaders "continued
effort to keep the Astros from also skipping town."  The Greater
Houston Partnership announced that "Step Up To The Plate" will be
the slogan to promote season ticket sales (Bob Tutt, HOUSTON
CHRONICLE, 11/16).
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