SBD/15/Franchises

PADS OWNER MOORES SEEKS HOUSTON FOOTBALL PARTNERS

     Padres Owner John Jay Moores met with "influential
businessmen" in Houston yesterday and said he is "upbeat" about
putting together a package that could include public stock to
attract an NFL team to replace the Oilers. According to John
Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Moores asked close to 50
business-people to "invest at least" $1M each to help buy a team,
and gave the group until next week to "give an indication of
interest."  Moores said he also hopes to gain NFL approval for
"allowing average fans to buy shares in the team," a practice
"currently banned by the NFL."  NFL Dir of Communications Greg
Aiello said the league "has no plans to change its prohibition of
public ownership."  Aiello:  "Those rules are there to minimize
the chance that a company would transfer revenues from the
football team to help another part of the corporation."  Sources
close to the meetings said Moores "intends to borrow as much as
the $40 million maximum in debt that the NFL will allow a team to
carry."  He will then contribute half the remaining cash and
other investors will contribute the other half.  Moores
reportedly won't do the deal if it means selling his stake in the
Padres (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/15).
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