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Volume 24 No. 114

Franchises

     The Buccaneers "are for sale."  Bucs GM Richard McKay said
"an announcement will be forthwith," and team officials confirmed
that the club will be put on the market immediately by the Board
of Trustees running the estate of the late Hugh Culverhouse (Rick
Stroud, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/10).  The club, heading towards
its 12th consecutive losing season and "saddled by a dwindling
fan base," has been valued at $142M and could be sold before the
end of '94.  Local names who may be interested: Yankees Owner
George Steinbrenner, Outback Steakhouse CEO Chris Sullivan and a
group headed by Dixon Ticonderoga pencil magnate Gino Pala and
ESPN analyst Lee Corso.  But the impending sale also gives hope
to many out-of-state buyers who would move the team, most notably
Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who reportedly offered $200M in
February to move the Bucs to Baltimore, and investors in St.
Louis, who are courting the Rams (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE,
11/10).
     SUIT MAY IMPEDE SALE:  Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. has filed suit
against Steve Story, "the point man for the three-man trust" set
up by Hugh Culverhouse in January of '93 to run the team after
his death.  The suit claims that Culverhouse, Jr. was slandered
by a sign posted on Story's order, barring him and his sister
from entering the late Hugh Culverhouse's apartment.  Since the
trust must act in the best interest of the family, the suit
"raises the possibilty of future suits against the trust,
especially if Story ordered the sign placed in the window while
acting as a member of the trust" (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE,
11/10).
     PLEASE STAY:  In Tampa, Tom McEwen writes that new ownership
"would be good for Tampa Bay and long-suffering Bucs fans, so
long as the sale is made to vibrant owners who will keep the team
in Tampa, at a vastly improved Tampa Stadium."  Calling St. Louis
the "biggest threat" to "ambush" the Bucs, McEwen writes the NFL
may do everything it can to prevent the Rams or Raiders from
leaving the L.A. market, "which is now home base to its latest
big-time beneficiary, FOX television."  McEwen: "Some think the
NFL might sacrifice Tampa Bay ... to keep a Los Angeles team out
of St. Louis" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/10).

     Texas Governor-elect George W. Bush wants to keep his
minority interest in the Texas Rangers.  However, he would "sell
if ownership gives rise to potential conflict of interest with
his duties as governor."  Karen Hughes, Bush's campaign press
secretary, said Bush has asked his lawyers whether he needs to
put that interest in a trust, but added Bush would "eliminate his
duties as managing partner."  MLB Dir of Public Relations Jim
Small said there is "nothing that prohibits" a politician from
owning a team (Simon Gonzalez, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/10).

     Grizzlies Owner Arthur Griffiths and Exec VP Stu Jackson
launched "The Drive For Five" -- "a ticket campaign they hope
will rescue the Grizzlies from their current shaky foundation."
In an unprecedented ticket offer, any season ticket holder not
satisfied with the product after the new team's first exhibition
game at GM Palace can get a full refund.  Griffiths said they are
"so confident in the end product, that once they [fans] see it,
the last thing in the world they will be doing is turning the
tickets back."  On display yesterday was the future home of the
team, where ticket buyers can actually see where they will be
sitting --"one big edge" the Grizzlies have over the Raptors.  A
radio, TV and billboard ad blitz is planned, but has been delayed
due to a newspaper strike (Randy Starkman, TORONTO STAR, 11/10).
Griffiths said ticket sales so far have been "a little
frustrating."  Both expansion teams need to have 12,500 season
tickets sold by the league-imposed Dec. 31 deadline (CP/OTTAWA
CITIZEN, 11/10).
     RAPTORS:  In Toronto, Stephen Brunt focuses his column on
the Raptors' season-ticket sales effort.  Brunt writes, "What was
purported to be a cakewalk has turned out to be a struggle. ...
Coming up with enough dough to pay for the team and pay for a
building is going to be a stretch."  He says the early ticket
returns can "hardly be considered encouraging," and their recent
decision to make license fees behind the basket optional could
cost them about $11M.  "That, from an organization that needs
every nickel it can get its hands on, would seem to be a
significant deviation from business as usual" (Toronto GLOBE &
MAIL, 11/10).  Baton Broadcasting and CTV will carry most of the
Raptors games next season.  Baton will carry up to 41 games and
the CTV deal will cover about 15 games, which includes the
Raptors and the Grizzlies (Rob Grant, TORONTO STAR, 11/10).

     Rams President John Shaw will meet once more with groups
interested in the Rams.  Shaw said the meetings are an attempt to
find out "what's real and what's not real about each of the
offers."  Shaw: "So far, we've heard a lot of promises from
everybody."  From the Anaheim group, Save the Rams, Shaw wants to
see if they can deliver a "renovated Anaheim Stadium, ticket sale
guarantees, and a minority investment offer of up to $50
million."  With St. Louis' FANS, Inc., the "sticking point is the
lease."  Shaw also said he is willing to meet with Orioles Owner
Peter Angelos, who postponed a meeting with the Rams on
Wednesday, but Shaw believes Angelos wants to meet with the
Raiders' Al Davis. (Himmelberg & Mouchard, ORANGE COUNTY
REGISTER, 11/10).
     KROENKE TALKS HEAT UP:  MO businessman Stan Kroenke met with
Shaw on Tuesday and Wednesday in Los Angeles.  Sources say
Kroenke is "poised to buy up to 40% of the Rams should they
decide to move to St. Louis."  The sides have agreed on an
overall price, and are close to a final resolution on the buyout
option with team owner Georgia Frontiere (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH, 11/10).
     THE OSWALD FILE:  Rams Dir of Operations John Oswald and
Rick Nichols of Marketing Associates Int'l, were in St. Louis on
Monday and Tuesday.  Oswald is "thought to be the first
'football' employee of the Rams to visit St. Louis."  The two
visited potential sites for an office and practice facility, and
toured the domed-stadium site, before touring the city (Jim
Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/10).