SBD/6/Franchises

SEAHAWKS START TO SET UP SHOP IN L.A. AREA

     Seahawks Owner Ken Behring said last night that his L.A.-
bound team "will train in Anaheim and hopes to play its home
games in Pasadena's Rose Bowl next year," according to this
morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  While King County was
threatening to sue any city that signs a deal with Behring, the
P-I reports Behring "showed every sign of setting up a bidding
war between Los Angeles-area communities that want to provide the
team's permanent home."  Yesterday, Behring met with L.A. Mayor
Richard Riordan, City Council President John Ferraro and Steve
Soboroff, co-chair of the mayorally appointed Football LA task
force.  Also, a news conference with Anaheim officials was
cancelled yesterday, although Behring is set to meet with them
today (Boren, Penhale & Bruscas, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER,
2/6).
     BIG A, BIG HOPES:  While the L.A. TIMES reported that
Anaheim had the "inside track" on landing the Seahawks for the
long-term, the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER was reporting that Behring
"dashed" the hopes of Anaheim official that they would have an
exclusive six-month negotiating window with the team (L.A. TIMES,
2/6; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 2/6).
     SOME WELCOME MAT:  As for the NFL and the Football LA task
force, the TIMES reports that they "continue to go about their
business as if Behring never left Seattle."  Mayor Riordan:  "I
never feel comfortable taking something away from another city.
... Obviously, I don't want them to come."  Football LA Chair
Fred Rosen:  "We have allied ourselves with the NFL and we are
playing by the rules.  We're not sure the Seahawks have the right
to move here or to Anaheim."  In Anaheim, Disney officials had
reservations about the possibility of the team playing interim
games at Anaheim Stadium.  Disney is currently negotiating with
the city over renovations to Anaheim Stadium -- on which hinges
the company's deal to purchase a controlling interest in the MLB
team.  Disney Sports President Tony Tavares:  "At some point they
won't be able to play football in that stadium because of the
renovations that are going on.  If it would prevent us from
starting our work, I would object."  Anaheim City Manager Jim
Ruth, on the Disney factor:  "It's just another thing in the
hopper" (T.J. Simers, L.A. TIMES, 2/6).
     LOCAL BUYERS?  King County officials "continued to cling to
fading hopes" that Behring would sell to a local buyer.  Added to
Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen were the names of former Seahawks
Coach Chuck Knox (who issued a denial) and Nike Chair Phil Knight
(who was not in Seattle as reported, but at Atlanta's Super
Show).  AT&T Wireless Senior VP Bob Ratcliffe responded to rumors
a group of high-tech execs would combine for an offer by saying
that no one "was interested in getting in a bidding war with Mr.
Allen" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 2/6).  The SEATTLE TIMES
examines past relations with the Behrings (Schaefer & Serrano,
SEATTLE TIMES, 2/5).  ESPN noted the team had no comment
yesterday other than a video release from David Behring.
Behring:  "The true problem that everybody seems to be
sidestepping right now is the Kingdome.  The more we examined the
Kingdome over the course of the last year and a half, the more
problems we found" ("SportsCenter," 2/5).
     NORTHWEST EXPRESS:  B.C. Lions Owner Bill Comrie floated the
possibility of putting an NFL team in Vancouver to operate in
conjunction with his CFL team.  Officials from Orca Bay, owner of
the Canucks and Grizzlies, expressed interest in Comrie's idea
(Vancouver PROVINCE, 2/6).
     DOESN'T THE PRESIDENT HAVE ENOUGH PROBLEMS?  King County
Exec Gary Locke is in DC today to meet with President Clinton on
unrelated matters.  He said, however, that he would raise the
issue of franchise instability and its effect on cities and fans
and push for antitrust legislation currently before Congress
(L.A. TIMES, 2/6).
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