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DESPITE ATTENDANCE WOES, OILERS WANT TO STAY IN MEMPHIS
Published September 23, 1997
The Oilers "reaffirmed their two-year commitment to Memphis on Monday, despite abysmal attendance" at their first two games at the Liberty Bowl, according to John Glennon of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Oilers Exec VP Don MacLachlan said that the team has "no plans to pull the plug on Memphis" despite speculation the team might choose to play at Vanderbilt in '98, as it waits for Nashville's stadium to be built by '99. MacLachlan: "We realize that in coming (to Tennessee), there were a lot of things we had to accomplish in a very short period of time. We did have some snafus, and some problems coming out of the gate. But we're looking to the future." To help increase attendance, MacLachlan said the team is working with NFLP, "though he declined to say whether possible changes being discussed involve team colors and nickname" (COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 9/23). MORE NEWS: ESPN's Chris Mortensen: "The league acknowledges that it's embarrassing, it's not a good situation, and they're sending their marketing arm in there to roll up its sleeve a little bit and get to work and see how they can fix this situation. [Oilers Owner] Bud Adams ... is taking a bath." ESPN's Mitch Albom: "[T]his is the fault of owner Bud Adams and the rest of the league. Did they really think carpet-bagging the team to a two-year, temporary home would be a popular move? ... Pretty amazing -- a league that fines players for not having their shirts tucked in, allows a mess like this" ("PrimeMonday," 9/22).