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SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies
LEGISLATION FILED TO PREVENT NFL FRANCHISE MOVES
Published December 1, 1995
As expected, legislation was introduced in both houses of Congress yesterday by members of Ohio's delegation designed to control the relocation of franchises, particularly in the NFL. According to the Akron BEACON JOURNAL, Congress is now in a "two- minute drill" to try to save the Browns, and possibly the Oilers. Primary sponsors are Sen. John Glenn and Rep. Louis Stokes. THE BILL WOULD: Grant the NFL, NBA and NHL a limited antitrust exemption allowing them to block franchise moves; Require six months' notice of a planned move to give communities a chance to respond; Ban relocation fees paid to league. Hoke will also introduce another bill to prevent a relocating team from keeping its name, colors and logos if it had been in a city for more than 10 years; and require leagues to put an expansion team in an abandoned city if capable ownership is found (Akron BEACON JOURNAL, 12/1). REACTION: Predictably, members of Maryland's delegation were not confident of the bill's chances for passage. MD Sen. Barbara Mikulski: "I understand why [Sen. Glenn] wants to fight for his team, but I believe this is a done deal -- Baltimore is getting a team" (Brad Snyder, Baltimore SUN, 12/1). In Houston, Ed Fowler notes that granting the NFL a limited exemption would provide no guarantee to the fans that teams will not move. Fowler notes many NFL owners "are as covetous as Art Modell and Bud Adams of fancier stadiums with more luxury boxes and might some day soon need the votes of those two to get moves of their own approved" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/1).