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Volume 24 No. 157

Franchises

     FANS point man Sen. Tom Eagleton declined to give specifics
on the recent negotiations with the Rams to move the team to St.
Louis, but he said "many differences" emerged between their
proposal and Rams' wish list.  Eagleton:  "We rejected many items
on their wish list.  And the ones we rejected will remain
rejected."  Eagleton noted differences "amount pretty much to one
word: money."  U.S. House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, who
represents St. Louis, said any changes to FANS's proposal would
likely be minor.  One source "with knowledge of the negotiations"
said the Rams were "impressed" with the offer but wanted specific
aspects restructured.  Eagleton added: "In all candor, more than
once, Mr. Shaw wondered about St. Louis as a football town.  We
tried to assure him as best we could."  Eagleton admitted that
the Rams "believe Baltimore has greater intensity, greater
zealotry" for football (Bernie Miklasz, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH,
10/14).
     BALTIMORE BID BOOSTED?  Orioles Owner Peter Angelos said he
believes Baltimore's efforts to attract the Rams will "improve
dramatically" if the Redskins decide to build a new stadium in
DC, rather than MD.  Angelos plans to call Shaw "very soon" to
resume negotiations and said Redskins Owner Jack Kent Cooke's
"setback" in efforts to build a stadium in Laurel, MD were "now
reverberating throughout" the NFL.  But "one highly placed league
source" said that even if Cooke stays in DC, some owners would be
"concerned" about the proximity of Baltimore and DC teams.  Rams
owner Georgia Frontiere is considered "sensitive to the wishes"
of NFL owners and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.  One source said
Frontiere is "not geared toward being litigious" (Leonard
Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 10/14).  Baltimore CFL owner Jim Speros
told the WASHINGTON TIMES, "As long as Cooke owns the Redskins,
there will never be an NFL team in Baltimore" (Kevin Lyons,
WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/14).

     Steelers President Dan Rooney said yesterday that the
current labor dispute in baseball is "complicating efforts" to
purchase the Pirates and could cause his family to withdraw from
the bidding.  Rooney said that small-market teams such as the
Pirates need revenue sharing and a salary cap for financial
reasons.  Rooney contended that without such financial restraints
it would be difficult to maintain a baseball team in Pittsburgh:
"This deal might be so difficult, we might feel it's impossible
to do it.  There are a lot of factors that still have to be
worked out to make this deal attractive."  Rooney added that he
is concerned that if the Pirates leave Pittsburgh, the city's
image will receive "serious damage."  The Rooney family is among
six local groups that have submitted bids for the Pirates (Steve
Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/14).