SBD/26/Franchises

NFL DELEGATION TREADS SOFTLY AROUND KINGDOME FAULT LINES

     NFL representatives, led by NFL VP/Business & Football
Development Roger Goodell, Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson and
NFL Dir of Club Relations Joe Ellis, met with King County
officials regarding the future of the Seahawks.  Goodell said the
league expects the Seahawks to play the '96 season in Seattle
unless the courts find the Kingdome to be unsafe.  Citing their
lease obligation for the next 10 years, Goodell said, "The league
will do everything to keep the team in the community."  Alan
Elias, spokesperson for Seahawks Owner Ken Behring, called the
NFL's statement "posturing" (David Schaefer, SEATTLE TIMES,
3/25).
     DOME AWAY FROM HOME:  The NFL delegation "spent two days in
Seattle, dropping ideas for funding new stadiums and soothing
feathers ruffled by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's suggestion"
that a new stadium may be needed to keep the team.  Richardson
floated the idea of a new, privately funded facility -- a
proposal that "has sharply divided some business leaders,"
according to the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  One member of the
Metro King County Council called it "an absurd notion."  But
league officials "said they were not wedded to building a new
stadium."  Goodell said the point is for a competitive facility,
"but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a new stadium"
(Boren, Farnsworth & Thiel, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 3/26).
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