SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

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).

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