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CFL'S AMERICAN DREAM BEGINS TO UNRAVEL
Published December 1, 1995
None of the CFL's Board of Governors were willing to declare U.S. expansion an "abject failure" yesterday, despite the fact that Board Chair John Tory opened the annual meeting with the news the Memphis Mad Dogs had folded and that the Birmingham Barracudas would do the same unless the team is sold and relocated. In Toronto, Rick Matsumoto writes to expect the Barracudas to pull out and the CFL to go with an 11-team league next year. But, "there might be more to come" as far as problems in U.S. cities. San Antonio Texans Owner Fred Anderson is conducting a ticket drive and could still withdraw if he fails to gain 12,000 season-ticket buyers. The Shreveport Pirates are examining Norfolk, VA, as a possible new home next year. And the Grey Cup Champion Baltimore Stallions could be forced to move with the Browns coming to their city next year. In the face of all this, the Governors gave a vote of confidence to Commissioner Larry Smith and voted to make no rule changes and to retain the name "CFL" (TORONTO STAR, 12/1). Also, the Governors agreed to a C$200,000 cut to the C$2.5M salary cap, as well as a 25% cut in league payroll and a 20% cut in operating costs. Each team will also lower non-player salary costs by up to 25% (Mike Ganter, TORONTO SUN, 12/1).