Baltimore's "lucrative offer" to lure the Rams remains
intact, "but it's apparently a limited-time offer." Mark
Wasserman, secretary of MD's Department of Economic and
Employment Development, said Gov. William Donald Schaefer's
message to Rams President John Shaw was, "Don't leave us on the
hook forever." Wasserman said Schaefer "wanted some sense for
how this process will play out, and Mr. Shaw indicated rather
clearly that he hoped to arrive at some sort of decision within
4-6 weeks." Sources in St. Louis "aren't sure if Shaw will
decide that quickly, but nonetheless expect a decision before
Thanksgiving" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/25). On
NBC's "NFL Live," Jim Gray featured the courting of the Rams.
Gray noted the St. Louis offer is the most "solid," but Baltimore
is "clearly the leader." Gray noted that last week Orioles Owner
Peter Angelos sought "advice" from Raiders Owner Al Davis on
moving franchises and decided "litigation now would simply be an
inconvenience." Angelos also said that while Redskins owner Jack
Kent Cooke "might not like it ... I'm convinced legally he can't
stop it" (NBC, 9/25).
ST. LOUIS UPDATE: FANS Inc., the local group trying to lure
the Rams, "is putting the final touches on a seat-licensing
program that probably will be instituted to coincide with any
Rams announcement that they are moving here" (Jim Thomas, ST.
LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/24). In a related development, FANS Inc.
is suing Fran Murray, one of the founders of the partnership that
was formed to head up St. Louis' bid for NFL expansion. The suit
asks the court to declare that Murray owns no stock in the St.
Louis NFL Corp. and has no ownership interest in the corporation
and that he has no "existing right to acquire any such stock."
FANS is prepared to protect the Rams from any potential Murray
lawsuits. "The Rams have indicated to FANS that this would
satisfy their concerns" (POST-DISPATCH, 9/24).
DOME-WARD BOUND: St. Louis' 70,000 seat stadium/ convention
center addition is 43% complete. The completion date remains
October 25, 1995. FANS Inc. "has let it be known that perhaps
the stadium could be completed ahead of schedule -- say in
August -- meaning the Rams could play the entire 1995 regular
season in the dome if they moved here" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS
HARTFORD: CT Gov. Lowell Weicker is not optimistic about
the Rams moving to Hartford (AP/Baltimore SUN, 9/25).
Software millionaire John Moores has "agreed in principle"
to buy the Padres, according to a source familiar with the
negotiations. "But the final transaction may not occur for weeks
or months because of baseball's uncertain future." The source
indicated that dollar figures are "being attached to each
contingency" of baseball's uncertain future: whether there will
be revenue-sharing, if the antitrust exemption is lifted, if the
'95 season will start on time, or if other MLB owners wait until
a new labor agreement is signed before approving the sale. In
any event, the current Padres ownership is expected to receive
less than the $75M they paid for the team in '90. To be
determined is how much of the team's '94 debt will assumed by
Moores. One Padres insider said the team is expected to lose
$11M. Moores has been silent since his name has been floated as
a potential suitor, "perhaps in deference to Padres owners, who
were angered by the public posturing of previous suitor Norton
Herrick." Herrick now heads the ownership group for Orlando's
expansion bid. Former Orioles President Larry Lucchino is
expected to oversee baseball operations for Moores, receiving
equity in the team for his effort (Buster Olney, San Diego UNION-
The chief negotiator for the Oakland-Alameda County
Coliseum, Ed De Silva, is working out the "final details of an
offer" to Raiders Owner Al Davis that includes major stadium
renovations and a commitment by the football team to return to
Oakland for at least 15 years. De Silva said the new offer --
"which could be brought to the Coliseum board of directors as
early as next month" -- involves the sale of bonds by the city of
Oakland and Alameda County to finance stadium reconstruction.
The Oakland proposal calls for city and county construction bonds
to be paid off with football revenues. De Silva "declined to
discuss specifics of revenue-sharing or stadium renovations,
saying details are still being worked out." The renovations
would be similar to those proposed during Oakland's '90 attempt
to lure back the Raiders. "One major difference" from the '90
offer is that the Raiders would not be guaranteed income. Any
offer to the Raiders would first need the approval of the
Coliseum board, the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County
Board of Supervisors (Judy Ronningen, S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/23).