SBD/2/Franchises

IN NASHVILLE, NEWT SAYS NYET TO FRANCHISE LEGISLATION

     House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) told Nashville residents
yesterday that no legislation will pass Congress that prevents
the Oilers from moving to Nashville, according to John Williams
of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Gingrich "referred specifically" to a
bill sponsored by Rep. Martin Hoke (R-OH) that "would force the
NFL to give Houston another team should the Oilers move to
Nashville by '98 as planned."  The NFL has said it would rescind
its vote allowing the Oilers to move if Hoke's bill is passed.
Gingrich, speaking at a GOP fundraiser, said "you have my
commitment that nothing will be done in the U.S. House which will
in any way hinder Nashville from getting a team and that [Hoke's
bill] will be taken care of."  The House Speaker also said he
planned to defeat any legislation that would make it more
difficult to build a stadium, as officials "are worried about a
bill" filed by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) that would
outlaw tax-exempt bond financing for stadiums (HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
7/2).
     SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, MISTER SPEAKER:  Hoke said that
Gingrich's comments will not stop his legislation.  Hoke said
Gingrich spoke to him yesterday and "reconfirmed his support for"
the bill, adding that Gingrich "also made it crystal clear that
he won't allow the NFL to use Nashville as a pawn."  Hoke: "I
fully expect this bill to be on the floor after the August
recess" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/2).
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