SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

LEGISLATION FILED TO PREVENT NFL FRANCHISE MOVES

     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).
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