SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

CAN'T HARDLY WAIT: NFL ANXIOUS TO GET BACK TO CITY OF ANGELS

          "Fox NFL Sunday" host James Brown reported yesterday
     that the NFL "is so desperate to get a team in Los Angeles
     that they will rip up their own timetable to decide on the
     franchise and give the two L.A. owner groups every chance. 
     Houston, the previous favorite ... may now have to resort to
     grabbing an existing team."  Brown called the Raiders and
     Cardinals two "potential targets" ("Fox NFL Sunday," 11/1). 
     ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that despite a "spectacular"
     presentation from Bob McNair's Houston group, "there's still
     a strong sentiment to award the 32nd [team] to Los Angeles. 
     The feeling being that L.A. is a luke warm market that might
     heat up to the excitement of an expansion team, as opposed
     to relocation."  Mortensen said that Bill Bidwell's
     Cardinals "may be the number one candidate for such a move"
     to Houston ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/31).  
          L.A. STORY: In L.A., T.J. Simers wrote that Fox joining
     Ed Roski's New Coliseum Partners "makes too much sense" as
     Fox "already has its hooks into the Dodgers and the Staples
     Center, and Fox is going to need political support to redo
     Dodger Stadium.  Hopping aboard the Mark Ridley-Thomas
     project, which already has wide political appeal in L.A.,
     also keeps Fox in the programming game, something vital to
     its existence" (L.A. TIMES, 11/1).  In Chicago, Don Pierson
     wrote that fan support in Charlotte, Jacksonville and
     Nashville "has not been overwhelming," and the league "can
     hardly wait to get back to" Cleveland (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
     11/1).  In Cleveland, Tony Grossi wrote that Commissioner
     Tagliabue's "goal" is to have the 32nd team playing in 2002,
     the fifth year of the TV deal.  The league has the right to
     reopen its TV deal after the 2002 season.  Grossi: "The
     worst it can do is maintain the present schedule of TV fees.
     ... Tagliabue's hope is that TV ratings will rise
     dramatically in 2002 when the 32nd team debuts in a newly
     realigned NFL" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/1).

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