The Board of Trustee's overseeing the Hugh Culverhouse
estate officially put the "for sale" sign over "One Buccaneer
Place" yesterday. Stephen Story, the trustees' spokesperson,
said "outside occurrences have forced" their hand, adding it was
in the franchise's best interest "to expedite the sale of the
team as swiftly as possible." The outside occurrences appear to
be the split between the trust and the Culverhouse family,
including two lawsuits filed by family members against the trust.
Story hinted at a quick sale and was hopeful for local
ownership, "If a new owner is to be in place, that party should
have every opportunity to prepare for the '95 season. ... We all
want very much for the team to stay in Tampa." After the
announcement, "local residents interested in buying the team
started lining up." Yesterday, Story met with a group headed by
Tampa developer Tom Shannon and Outback Steakhouse CEO Chris
Sullivan. Other prospective Tampa buyers include Vince Naimoli,
currently heading Tampa's baseball expansion bid, Gina Pala of
Dixon Ticonderoga, and Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner (Nick
Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/11). Any new owner would probably
"want renovations made to Tampa Stadium that could cost $60-
$70M," including more club and sky box seating (Pat Yaskinskas,
TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/11).
BUCS ON THE RUN? Both the NFL and various team owners would
"like to see the team remain in Tampa Bay." But in Baltimore,
Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who offered $200M for the Bucs
earlier this year said, "Clearly we have an have interest, and
clearly we intend to pursue it" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN,
11/11). Parties in St. Louis, trying to lure the Rams, had no
comment. But "there are several things about a Bucs sale that
might be more appealing for St. Louis. Most notably it could be
cheaper" (Jim Thomas, St. Louis POST-DISPATCH, 11/11). NFL
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the league "would very much like
to see a strong and successful team in Tampa." Browns Owner Art
Modell: "I wouldn't be quick to jump to the conclusion that the
Bucs are going to move out of the area. I don't think that Hugh
Culverhouse would posthumously like that." Chiefs Owner Lamar
Hunt said his "preference is for every team to stay where it is."
Hunt: "It probably is a great time to sell. There is a labor
peace, a TV contract in place, a salary cap, and attendance is
strong. ... They have got a fine stadium there and large niche
that market" (Don Banks, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/11). Saints
Exec VP Jim Miller: "We would prefer to see any team that's
currently in a league city stay in that city" (Baltimore SUN,
George Vukasin, president of the Oakland-Alameda County
Coliseum board, said a proposal to lure the Raiders back to
Oakland will be made to Owner Al Davis within the next two
months. Vukasin: "Within the next 30-60 days, we will put
something before Davis. It will be comparable to the deal we
tried to make in 1990" (Gordon Forbes, USA TODAY, 11/11).
The MLS will bring a franchise to Tampa Bay as one of 12
teams in the new outdoor league. MLS Dir. of Operations Bill
Sage will be in Tampa to make the announcement in conjunction
with an announcement in New York of the four other remaining MLS
franchises, as well as other investors by MLS Chair Alan
Rothenberg." It is still unclear when the league will begin play
(Bill Ward, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/11).
Shareholders and fans attended Maple Leaf Gardens' annual
meeting and "many slammed new owner Steve Stavro." During the
meeting, a motion was initiated requesting a vote of minority
shareholders on the "performance of the board." Stavro "quashed"
the motion, but made no comments and didn't reply to question
during the meeting. Stavro's only comment after the conference:
"Let's get the strike over with -- that's the main thing"
(TORONTO SUN, 11/11).
In Minneapolis, Patrick Reusse writes, with thousands of
empty seats at the Timberwolves' second home game and
Commissioner David Stern in attendance, owner-to-be Glen Taylor
"probably was in need of high-level reassurance to continue
forward in his role as Minnesota's basketball savior." Taylor's
purchase of the team is not official, still awaiting money from
the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission ($56M) and the
Minneapolis business community ($2M) to outgoing owners Marv
Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner for the Target Center. Reusse:
"There has seemed to be some difficulty putting the arm on the
downtown crowd for that $2 million," adding that Stern may have
been at the game to remind business leaders of their pledge.
Stern: "Don't talk to me about it not getting done. Talk to the
business community. Nobody told me it's not going to get done"
(Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 11/10).