SBD/29/Franchises

BUCS PULL ABOUT-FACE, WILL ASK LEGISLATURE FOR MONEY

     The Bucs pulled "an abrupt about-face" Wednesday night,
announcing they would be willing to join Tampa and Hillsborough
County officials in asking the FL Legislature for taxes to help
pay for a new stadium.  The team's change of heart comes just two
days before a self-imposed deadline to come up with a funding
plan to keep the team in Tampa.  Joe Henderson reports, as part
of the new position, the Bucs want "assurances from negotiators
that they be allowed to leave for another city without being sued
if attempts in the Legislature fail."  Henderson reports
officials "are lukewarm" to that idea (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/29).
Meanwhile, in Orlando, Larry Guest expects the Bucs to announce
"perhaps as early as Friday, they are officially pulling the plug
on stalled negotiations" in Tampa.  Guest adds the team will then
"openly resume pursuit of the deal they want to happen -- a move
to a new Osceola County stadium in time for the 1998 season"
(ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/29).
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Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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