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NFL DELEGATION TREADS SOFTLY AROUND KINGDOME FAULT LINES
Published March 26, 1996
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).