Steve Story, spokesperson for the trust overseeing the
estate of late Bucs Owner Hugh Culverhouse, said he will begin
meeting this week with groups interested in buying the team.
Story would like to "set up face-to-face interviews with all the
potential suitors as soon as possible, partially to weed out the
contenders from the pretenders." The list includes: Orioles
Owner Peter Angelos, former U.S. Senator Tom Eagleton, MO
businessman Stan Kroenke, Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, Palm
Beach industrialist Malcolm Glazer, and Gino Pala of Dixon
Ticonderoga. Story said he has also spoken with Outback
Steakhouse CEO Chris Sullivan, and fellow Tampa businessmen Tommy
Shannon and Marty Jacobson about their interest (Nick Pugliese,
TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/14). Story noted that people in Tampa "might
be alarmed" about relocation, but he said "we have no choice but
to talk to everybody" (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/14).
NEED A TEAM, ANY TEAM: Sources close to the Bucs have said
that Angelos has reopened talks and is said to be offering $200M.
Angelos acknowledged his interest, but declined to discuss
specifics (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 11/12). Angelos met with
Rams President John Shaw over the weekend. He said Baltimore
remains in the running for that franchise adding that Rams'
negotiations with St. Louis are "not a done deal" (Jon Morgan,
Baltimore SUN, 11/14). Tom Eagleton, whose St. Louis group,
FANS, Inc., is the leading contender for the Rams, said of the
Bucs sale: "It does change the environment a bit. You have an
NFL team on the market. We're not particular. We'll take the
Dallas Cowboys if they are ready to come here" (AP/Mult., 11/12).
NORTH-OF-THE-BORDER INTEREST: Labatt Communications
President of Development Richard Peddie indicated that the
Canadian brewery may also be interested in purchasing the Bucs.
Peddie said that he is "monitoring" the Bucs situation and if
more information is disclosed he will "look at it." Peddie
emphasized that Labatt remains "committed" to its CFL franchise,
the Argos: "In a perfect world, we'd like to have both (the
Argos and an NFL team) and that's doable" (Gary Picknell, TORONTO
SUN, 11/11). Labatt also the Blue Jays and a controlling
interest in the SkyDome.
Orioles Owner Peter Angelos announced major ticket-price
increases for next year that will add $1 to $5 to the price of
more than 85% of the seats at Camden Yards. Angelos said he
expects the move to be "unpopular" among ticket buyers, but said
an increase was justified to recoup $15 million in strike-related
losses: "We simply had no other way to go. Obviously, the
financial viability of the club must be maintained for the
purpose of giving Orioles fans a No. 1 baseball club." The
Orioles joined the Rockies and the Yankees as the only teams to
raise ticket prices for next season (Mark Hyman, Baltimore SUN,
11/13). Orioles officials said they believe the team was on
course to turn an operating profit of $12M in an uninterrupted
'94 season, but instead will suffer an operating loss of
approximately $3M (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 11/12). The
Orioles announced their plans in full-page ads in the WASHINGTON
POST and the Baltimore SUN. The ad compared the O's ticket
prices to those of the Redskins, Capitals, Bullets and
Baltimore's CFL franchise.
The Panthers begin accepting applications for their 1995
season-tickets today. Applications are available at NationsBank,
First Union, Wachovia, and First Citizen bank branches
"throughout the Carolinas." The team will hold a random drawing
for all applications received before December 1, and fans can
reserve tickets with a $25 deposit. This is the first chance for
non permanent seat license holders to purchase Panther tickets
(CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/12).