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NFL SAYS IT WILL "MOVE FORWARD" ON THEMED CENTERS
Published September 22, 1998
St. Joe Corp. and the NFL "are abandoning plans to develop a chain of interactive sports-themed entertainment centers," according to Carrns & Fatsis of the WALL STREET JOURNAL, who calls the deal's collapse "an embarrassing failure for the NFL, which has wanted to step up its outside business development." NFL Dir of Corporate Communications Chris Widmaier said that the league intends to "move forward with new partners" on plans for NFL entertainment centers, but said that the league had "no timetable for renewing the development effort" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/21). Sources of BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton say that St. Joe "bowed out" due to "financial pressure" as its shares recently fell from $39.50 to its current range of just over $21 a share. While there were also reports that "fiscal projections were not rosy for the NFL venture," a league source "insisted" the project was still viable -- although there is "no possibility" of the first NFLX opening before the end of 2000, and "because of the high cost of New York real estate, it would likely go up somewhere other than New York" (BRANDWEEK, 9/21 issue).