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Volume 24 No. 117

Franchises

     Timberwolves suitor Glen Taylor has also expressed interest
in buying the Twins.  Taylor: "I have talked to Carl [Pohlad] and
we may have a story someday."  Pohlad might sell a minority
interest in the team once the strike is resolved, and give the
purchaser "an option to buy it all eventually."  Taylor has also
said he would like to bring an NHL franchise to the area, making
him "the Wayne Huizenga of Minnesota" (Sid Hartman, Minneapolis
STAR TRIBUNE, 9/17).... The Arena Football League will announce
today that a St. Louis franchise will begin play in the Kiel
Center in 1995.  The team, owned by the Blues, is yet to be named
(ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/20)....In Dallas, Dan Noxon writes on
the future of NHL expansion, and notes that Oklahoma City
"promises to make at least as much noise" as Atlanta, Phoenix and
Denver (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/18).

     Houston Mayor Bob Lanier has asked city officials to
determine what legal action might be taken to force Oilers owner
Bud Adams to remain in the Astrodome when his lease expires in
1998.  Lanier: "At some point, the cities should have rights
dealing with sports franchises."  South Texas School of Law dean
Gerald Treece advised that Lanier sue the NFL to keep the Oilers
in Houston:  "Because the city of Houston has invested so much
emotionally and financially in the Oilers, unless, we (Houston)
are granted a new franchise, then the policies and practices of
the NFL are in violation of antitrust laws."  Former NFL attorney
Gary Roberts warned such a lawsuit would provide an "interesting"
legal case: "It's asinine to think you can tell the NFL where it
can put teams.  But because it's very confusing law and because
juries are partisan, you never know what's going to happen" (John
Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/18).

     Two days after hearing an Orange County group's proposal to
keep the team, and two days after saying he's ready to talk to
St. Louis officials, Rams President John Shaw met with Orioles
owner Peter Angelos and MD Gov. William Donald Schaefer "to
further explore Baltimore's interest."  Rams owner Georgia
Frontiere did not attend the meeting.  A major topic of the
meeting was Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, who could try to
block the move of an NFL team into Baltimore.  Cooke has plans to
build a stadium in Laurel, MD, about a 20-minute drive from
Baltimore.  Shaw revealed no details of the meeting, but said he
plans to keep talking with Baltimore officials (Himmelberg &
Mouchard, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/20).  A top Rams official
told Schaefer that the Rams will probably decide if they will
leave Anaheim in the next 4-6 weeks (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN,
9/20).  Angelos and Schaefer laid out a proposal that would
include a guarantee of Rams ticket sales, a new stadium to be
built within the next three years, "lucrative revenues from that
stadium" and $1 a year rent (Himmelberg & Mouchard, ORANGE COUNTY
REGISTER, 9/20).
     ST. LOUIS:  Shaw said he expects to hear from St. Louis
officials within the next few days (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER,
9/20).  In St. Louis, Tom Wheatley interviews beer distributor
Jerry Clinton, who just recently sold his 30% stake in the domed
stadium's lease to FANS Inc.  Clinton: "I believe in football
here, but not at any cost.  If we get a deal, I hope it's
palatable to the fans, the box holders, the media, everyone."  He
is "strongly opposed" to a FANS Inc.'s suggestion that fans pay a
license fee to buy season tickets (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH,
9/20).

     MLG Ventures, a company controlled by grocery store magnate
Steve Stavro, "reached a deal with two government agencies to
produce the documents for pending trial that could result in an
unwinding of the takeover."  Ventures had rejected requests from
Ontario's public trustee and attorney general's ministry for the
documents since May, but the company "abruptly changed its mind
shortly after losing court arguments about the proper legal
process for seeking the files."  The trustee has charged that the
executors of the estate of the late MLG Ltd. owner Harold Ballard
should have sought bids for its 60.3% of MLG Ltd. instead of
selling it "privately" to Stavro's MLG Ventures. The issue of
what documents Stavro "must produce could result in more court
skirmishes before the trial that is to decide ownership" (Tony
Van Alphen, TORONTO STAR, 9/20).