SBD/17/Franchises

TAGLIABUE DENIES HOUSTON GUARANTEE OF A NEW TEAM

     NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said he would be willing to
work with Houston Mayor Bob Lanier, the city and Harris County in
an effort to keep the Oilers in Houston if the city really does
have a plan for a new stadium, but he would not guarantee Houston
a new team if the Oilers move, according to the HOUSTON
CHRONICLE.  Lanier reportedly has a plan to build a new open-air
stadium next to the Astrodome at no public cost for another team,
but Tagliabue said the NFL's preference is for Houston and Oilers
Owner Bud Adams to work out their problems.  Adams can back out
of his deal in Nashville in March, before the TN Legislature
approves final financing (John McClain, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/17).
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