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WATSON ABANDONS EFFORTS TO BRING NFL, NHL TEAMS TO HOUSTON
Published May 1, 1998
IHL Aeros Owner Chuck Watson said Thursday "he will withdraw from efforts to bring an NFL and/or NHL team to Houston, primarily so he can focus on his company," according to John Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. But Watson also said that "he has grown frustrated with the politics of stadium negotiations" which have slowed to the point where Houston's chances of regaining an NFL franchise "are threatened." Watson "has taken a much-lower profile on the NFL front in the past two months amid pressure from stockholders to devote more attention" to his company, NGC Corp., an energy firm. Watson has a held a 50-50 stake in Houston NFL Holdings, which he formed with businessman Bob McNair. The two have spent about $2.5M trying to get a team to replace the NFL Oilers and another $2.5M trying to lure the NHL. Houston NFL Holdings head Steve Patterson said that Watson's departure would not hamper the group's efforts to land a team, and that McNair has the "financial clout and fortitude" to continue (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/1).