Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 159
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.


     Despite saying he is the front-runner to buy the Buccaneers,
Orioles Owner Peter Angelos would still "have a major hurdle to
clear" if he wants to buy the team and move it to Baltimore.  The
Bucs three-man trust told Angelos that they would not accept an
offer for the team that was "conditional on the NFL allowing the
team to relocate."  Because of that, Angelos could face millions
of dollars in "additional costs in attempting to buy and move the
Bucs."  Angelos would have to pay roughly $9.5M to buy the team
out of its current lease at Tampa Stadium, but he also could be
assessed $15M by the NFL in relocation fees and face millions
more in legal fees if the league seeks a court-ordered injunction
to block the move.  Bucs trustee Steve Story said Angelos could
buy the Bucs and operate the team in Tampa while trying to seek
league approval for the franchise to be moved.  Story: "That's a
possibility.  Clearly, that is not his preference" (Rick Stroud,
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/21).  Angelos: "We don't know what kind
of fight the NFL might put up to keep the team from moving.  At
this point, making the deal is not the tough part" (Henderson &
Stebbins, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/21).
     WILL HE OR WON'T HE?  ESPN's Chris Mortensen said Angelos is
"confident" he can buy the Bucs.  Mortensen: "He is willing to
fight the NFL (about moving) and even consider selling the
Orioles if the cross-ownership issue gets too sticky."  The
"roadblock" is the "unconditional sale.  In other words if
Angelos fails legally to move the franchise, he'd still be stuck
with the team" ("SportsCenter," 12/20).  MD Gov. William Donald
Schaefer believes the NFL will block a move to Baltimore.
Schaefer put odds on the Bucs moving at "less than 50/50" (Jon
Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 12/21).
     TAXES GUARANTEES SEATS:  During a press conference today,
scheduled to be held at the 50-yard line in Tampa Stadium, local
leaders are expected to announce a proposal to have taxpayers and
businesses paying for unsold seats at home games.  The city of
Tampa, Hillsborough County, and Tampa Bay businesses would
"guarantee the sale of at least 55,000 tickets for each home game
for one or two years."  Enthusiasm for the idea by elected
officials who might be asked to vote on a ticket guarantee was
mixed.  Hillsborough County Commissioner Joe Chillura was not
"terribly excited" about public money being used to guarantee
sales, but he would favor guaranteeing public support if the Bucs
made the Super Bowl during the next five years.  Chillura: "If
you want to obligate the county to $150 million in debt, there
has to be more than just having an NFL team in town.  We want a
winning team" (Koehn & Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/21).