SBD/17/Franchises

IS RAMS' HONEYMOON PERIOD IN ST. LOUIS OVER?

          The Rams' performance on the field during the '97
     season "could have a direct impact on its bottom line" for
     the first time in the organization's history in St. Louis,
     according to Josh Gotthelf of the ST. LOUIS BUSINESS
     JOURNAL.  Following the '97 season, 20%, or 1,220 of the
     Rams 6,100 club seat agreements expire.  Rams VP/Sales Brian
     Ulione said 200 of those have already been renewed, leaving
     1,000 fans "to decide if they're getting their money's
     worth."  The BUSINESS JOURNAL's Gotthelf notes that over the
     three years, the length of the shortest club-seat lease,
     "swaying the undecideds" could be worth $4.5M to the team. 
     This is the last season the St. Louis Convention and
     Visitors Commission and Civic Progress has guaranteed to buy
     unsold club seats, which in two years has contributed over
     $1M to the team.  Also, a $900,000-a-year Southwestern Bell
     sponsorship is in its final year, as are four other "major"
     sponsorships that team sources put at close to $250,000 per
     year each (ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/14).    

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