SBD/13/Franchises

LEAGUE ACKNOWLEDGES "CONCERNS" ABOUT KINGDOME; OWNERS SCOFF

     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).
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