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LEAGUE ACKNOWLEDGES "CONCERNS" ABOUT KINGDOME; OWNERS SCOFF
Published March 13, 1996
While several NFL owners continued to "snicker" over the Seahawks' claim they must move out of the Kingdome due to seismic concerns, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said yesterday "the league has concerns" about other questions regarding the adequacy of the Kingdome. Clare Farnsworth reports Tagliabue noted the falling ceiling tiles that forced the Seahawks and Mariners out in '95. Tagliabue denied that any members of the Finance Committee were skeptical of Behring's contention of danger. A King County group makes its pitch to keep the Seahawks in front of the committee tonight (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 3/13). NO SKEPTICISM HERE: In L.A., Plaschke & Simers report, in addition to 49ers President Carmen Policy and Steelers Owner Dan Rooney, Denver Owner Patrick Bowlen scoffed at the Seahawks' earthquake presentation. Bowlen: "This is like me saying that my East stands are falling down, so I'm leaving." An unidentified exec told the L.A. TIMES: "The whole thing is a sham." The TIMES described reactions as "a mixture of laughter and disbelief," and noted that such reactions "may indicate the league's willingness to throw up roadblocks if the Seahawks are not restrained" by a WA state court in May. Behring responded to the cynicism, "There's a lot of jealousy about me moving" (L.A. TIMES, 3/12). In Tacoma, John Clayton reports "some owners appeared angry after the meeting," with one owner calling the presentation "contentious." Bowlen, on the contention that the Kingdome would collapse during a "once-in-a-500-year earthquake": "Come on!" Pats Owner Bob Kraft, who noted the team plays only about 60 hours total in the Kingdome: "Life is about taking risks" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 3/12). More from Policy, whose stadium took a direct earthquake hit during the '89 World Series: "I think it's a lame excuse. I don't know what Ken is trying to do" (L.A. TIMES, 3/13). OWNERS ENTERTAIN O'MALLEY: The NFL brought Dodgers Owner Peter O'Malley in to meet with several owners about the possibility of bringing an expansion team to the L.A. area, according to the L.A. TIMES. T.J. Simers reports that O'Malley is still studying stadium sites and has not been discouraged by Behring's attempt to move (L.A. TIMES, 3/13).