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  • HOUSTON LOOKS TO REJOIN NFL; WATSON & MCNAIR FORM NFL BIZ

              IHL Aeros President Steve Patterson announced that he
         will leave the club to head up the efforts of Houston
         business exec Bob McNair and Aeros Owner Chuck Watson to
         bring an NFL team to Houston.  McNair and Watson have formed
         Houston NFL Holdings L.L.C.  Former IHL exec Richard Adler
         will assume Patterson's role as Aeros President (Aeros).  
              WHAT IT MEANS: With a March deadline "looming," McNair,
         Watson and Patterson are "accelerating planning for a new
         football stadium," according to John Williams in a front-
         page story in today's HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Harris County-
         Houston Sports Authority Chair Jack Rains has also "started
         his own fact-finding mission on how much money the authority
         will need to build a stadium."  In addition, Enron Corp.
         Chair Ken Lay, who has raised almost $40M to help pay for a
         new Astros ballpark, "will resume raising private funds to
         help subsidize stadium construction."  Lay "is expected to
         seek another" $30M for a football stadium and basketball/
         hockey arena.  Houston NFL Holdings has hired KC-based HOK
         and Houston-based Linbeck Construction "to estimate the cost
         of the three projects."  HOK and Linbeck "will consider"
         renovating the Astrodome; building a new domed stadium; or
         updating Rice Stadium "with luxury boxes and other amenities
         to generate enough revenues" for an NFL team.  Houston NFL
         Holdings also hired Arthur Andersen for financial estimates;
         Leisure Management Int'l to determine operating costs of a
         facility; and NC-based financial expert Max Muhlman to
         "determine how many [PSLs], club seats and luxury boxes the
         Houston market will bear."  Williams: "Though McNair and
         Watson may try to buy an existing team and move it to
         Houston, they are placing most attention on vying with Los
         Angeles for one of the two expansion franchises the NFL is
         expected to award next year" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/4).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Houston Astros, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL
  • LEAGUE NOTES

              NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue says the NFL "will
         fight bids by any second-year college players to enter the
         '98 draft."  Tagliabue: "We think our rules (limiting
         signings to players with at least three years of college)
         will stand up in court" (Peter King, SI, 12/8 issue)....The
         ATP Tour took out a full-page ad in USA TODAY congratulating
         Pete Sampras on being chosen by players, journalists and
         tournament directors as the game's No. 1 player of the last
         25 years.  Balloting was conducted to commemorate the Tour's
         25th Anniversary.  Rounding out the top five were Bjorn
         Borg, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl (THE
         DAILY)....The ABL Storm-StingRays game in Long Beach last
         night started over 45 minutes late when the three ABL
         officials scheduled to referee did not show up.  ABL ref
         Chuck Gonzales was sitting in the stands as a spectator, and
         agreed to ref the game.  Another ABL ref, Mariane Karp, who
         lives near the arena, was called and agreed to drive over to
         do the game.  ABL Dir of Officials Ernie Yarbrough was
         unavailable to comment who was supposed to officiate the
         game and why they didn't show up (Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM,
         12/4)....The ABL will sponsor its first dunk contest January
         17 at the All-Star Game in Orlando, FL (DENVER POST, 12/4).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ATP, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Seattle Storm, Sports Illustrated
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