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FLORIDA'S UNCIVIL WAR: COUNTIES BATTLE FOR BUCCANEERS
Published February 21, 1996
Osceola County, a largely rural area just south of Orlando, offered Hillsborough County "an olive branch" Tuesday after Tampa area officials threatened a $500M lawsuit over attempts to lure the Bucs from Tampa. Osceola County Chair Jim Norman said his government is not trying to "pirate" the team, but "stopped short of suspending talks with Bucs officials." The team's lease with Hillsborough County has them in Tampa Stadium through 2000, but they have a buyout option. Hillsborough officials say they will file a suit against any body involved in trying to lure their team away -- be it another state or a FL county (Charean Williams ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/21). Meanwhile, in Tampa, Joe Henderson notes Hillsborough officials say the Bucs may have a response to local proposals to keep the team moving "by this weekend." The Bucs have had only one official meeting with Tampa officials since January 10 (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/21).