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BEHRING MEETS THE MEDIA, EXPLAINS HIS RATIONALE FOR MOVE
Published February 7, 1996
Seahawks Owner Ken Behring held several interviews yesterday to explain his decision to move his team to the vacant L.A. market. On ESPN, he was asked if the deal was just about money: "If I was looking for that, I could move to Cleveland right now because they are offering the same deal Baltimore is." On the alleged seismic dangers at the Kingdome, as compared to stadiums in Southern CA: "The earthquakes aren't the problem. It's how the building is constructed." On where they will be in '96: "The court could decide that we have to play this year up in the Kingdome. So we have to wait and see on how that plays out." On the unanimous owners' vote to give the league control on filling the L.A. market: "We've informed the NFL every step of the way. We have been in constant contact with them ever since our problems started in Seattle. They've known" ("SportsCenter," 2/6). On CNN, Behring said of L.A.: "You have everything here. You have all the media, you have television. It's where things should happen." On his problems in Seattle: "It was never my team, it was their team" ("Sports Tonight," 2/6). In USA TODAY, Behring was asked about fan loyalty: "I think we have a lot of loyalty to fans, but if you have to play in a stadium that is not fan-friendly and cannot generate the kind of money to get the type of players you need, I don't think there's hardly any owner that's really making much money" (Kelly Carter, USA TODAY, 2/7). NOT FOR SALE: Ronald Olson, attorney for Behring, said he respected the efforts of King County officials to find a local buyer, but he said the team is not for sale. According to a report in yesterday afternoon's SEATTLE TIMES, Olson said, We have every intention of proceeding as we have planned -- to move to Los Angeles. There are no negotiations, none." The name most frequently mentioned as a potential buyer is Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen, owner of the NBA Blazers. Olson: "So far as I know, there has not been a single contact with Mr. Allen. If he looked at the books, it was some time ago." Also mentioned is former Seahawks Coach Chuck Knox, although he continues to deny any interest (Barbara Serrano, SEATTLE TIMES, 2/7). HE FEELS THEIR PAIN: King County Exec Gary Locke met President Clinton yesterday on unrelated issues, but did say the President gave his "moral support." Locke: "He expressed deep concern about what's happening and said the NFL needs to get its house in order" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/7). SEATTLE SLEWED: WA Superior Court Judge Michael Cooper sided with the team yesterday by saying that he thought his court in Kittitas County had jurisdiction over the dueling lawsuits filed by the team and King County. King County attorneys claim they filed their suit first. A hearing will be held February 22 (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 2/7). ....The videotaped release by Seahawks President David Behring was produced by Hill & Knowlton, recently hired to handle public relations of the team's planned move (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 2/6)....An NFL spokesperson noted that a request would have had to have been made by September '95 for the Seahawks to change their name, logo and colors for next season (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/7)....A group called SOS (Save our Seahawks) plans to file a class-action lawsuit and stage rallies in support of the team (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/7).