SBD/6/Franchises

BROWNS TO ANNOUNCE THEIR MOVE TO BALTIMORE TODAY

     Browns Owner Art Modell will attend a press conference in
Baltimore today at 12:30pm to announce a deal in principal to
move his team to that city for next season.  Modell will be
joined by MD Gov. Parris Glendening, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke
and Maryland Stadium Authority Chair John Moag in the parking lot
of Camden Yards, next to the site of a proposed $200M football-
only stadium.
     THE DEAL:  According to this morning's Baltimore SUN, Modell
has already signed a 30-year lease to play in Baltimore starting
in '96 and could receive up to $75M to cover expenses associated
with the move.  Moag would not name the team, but did confirm the
details of an agreement.  Under the deal, the Browns would play
in a 70,000-seat open-air stadium with 108 luxury boxes and 7,500
club seats; the team gets all concession, parking and signage
revenue and pays no rent; the team is responsible for operations
and maintenance costs (likely $3-4M a year); PSLs will be sold to
a maximum of $80M, of which the team will get $75 for costs
associated with the move, including a new $15M practice facility;
the team will play at Memorial Stadium in '96 and '97, with
capacity there increased to 60-65,000; the deal includes "no
guarantees or upfront money."  The SUN's Vito Stellino writes the
lack of guarantees means the Baltimore deal "isn't as lucrative"
as Oakland, St. Louis or Nashville and that Modell "is making a
huge financial bet on the appetite of Baltimore fans" (Baltimore
SUN, 11/6).    THE NEW STADIUM:  The $200M stadium will be
financed by state bonds backed by lottery, stadium and ticket-tax
revenues.  Potential problems include the loss of parking for
Camden Yards, $2M in renovation costs to Memorial Stadium, and
possible compensation for the CFL Stallions, who do not have an
exclusive lease.  A "less likely possibility" is for the Browns
to play at Camden Yards for '96 and '97, although that would
require the permission of the Orioles (Mark Hyman, Baltimore SUN,
11/5).
     HOW THE DEAL WAS DONE:  Most of the talks were conducted
between Moag and Browns minority investor Alfred Lerner.  The
deal was signed October 27 on Lerner's private plane at BWI
Airport.  Moag said after Baltimore was rejected by the Bengals
in June, he opened negotiations with three teams -- which sources
say were the Browns, Buccaneers and Cardinals (Vito Stellino,
Baltimore SUN, 11/6).  ESPN's Chris Mortensen:  "It's a big
financial package.  Modell gets a $50 million signing bonus and
he's about to buy out a disgruntled minority partner with it.
Naturally, there is outrage in Cleveland, but Modell has
privately warned the city that this day was coming" ("NFL
GameDay," 11/5).  Will McDonough said Modell "wanted to wait
until after the season was over, but two other teams, Tampa Bay
and Arizona, were moving quickly in front of him and were going
to take the deal in Baltimore.  This is by far the most lucrative
deal ever given anybody in the NFL" (NBC, 11/5).
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