SBD/21/Franchises

NO LAST-DITCH EFFORTS EXPECTED TO KEEP OILERS IN HOUSTON

     A committee studying the need for new sports venues in
Houston "is not likely to put together a last-ditch effort to
keep the Houston Oilers in town," according to group chairman
Pete Coneway.  This morning's HOUSTON CHRONICLE reports that
Coneway said the group, appointed by Houston Mayor Bob Lanier and
Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, "is looking at longer-term
issues than the Oilers."  Coneway, a managing partner at Goldman
Sachs:  "We were not formed to negotiate with [Oilers Owner] Bud
Adams."  Meanwhile, the Nashville Metro Council should approve
the non-binding contract today (John Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
11/21).
     ON THE TENNESSEE TRAIL:  The WALL STREET JOURNAL's John
Helyar examines the Oilers' move, writing, it shows "how
differently two cities at different points in their life cycles
can value a sports team."  Agent Leigh Steinberg says the "deck
is stacked against the more mature cities that have long hosted
and supported NFL teams."  Steinberg:  "This process is pitting
major urban areas with overwhelming budget constraints against
smaller entrepreneurial cities willing to pay fabulous sums for
the sake of their economic climate.  The net effect of all this
is to downsize the NFL."  Gaylord Entertainment COO Richard
Evans, head of the Nashville Sports Council, is seen along with
Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen as driving the city's sports cause.
Evans:  "We're out to make the NHL and NBA aware that we're dead
serious about bringing a sports team to Nashville."  In fact,
Oilers Exec VP Mike McClure said it was Nashville's wooing of the
Devils that "caught [his] eye" in seeking a new home for the
Oilers.  Vanderbilt Law's John Costonis:  "Nashville can't be
Atlanta, but it would sure like to be on par with Charlotte"
(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/21).
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