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PATRIOT GAMES? HARTFORD DOWNPLAYS KRAFT/TAGLIABUE MEETING
Published June 2, 1998
Those familiar with talks that took place between Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and CT Gov. John Rowland concerning a new domed stadium in Hartford say the proposal for the 35,000-seat stadium "does not meet league guidelines for a professional facility," according to Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. However, the project "could be changed to accommodate" the Patriots' requirements. A team spokesperson declined comment on the meeting, which Cassidy writes "comes at a politically sensitive time for the Patriots," since the MA legislature will recess July 31, "effectively killing the Foxboro Stadium bills that have stalled on Beacon Hill" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/2). Rowland termed the meeting a "research project," adding, "We've basically been trying to get as much input as we can across the board, but there's no reason to speculate on any possibility of a team coming to Connecticut." Rowland, on Tagliabue's presence: "We're picking his brain about other possible uses." MA State Senator William Keating (D-Foxboro) said yesterday that if his state takes no action by July 31, "I'm confident we'll see [the Patriots] leave" (HARTFORD COURANT, 6/2). In Hartford, Jeff Jacobs writes that Kraft "must be aware that we refuse to be made pawns in his elaborate chess game to get a stadium built" (HARTFORD COURANT, 6/2).