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Volume 24 No. 112

Franchises

     The trust in charge of selling the Buccaneers rejected a
$163.3M offer from Tampa developer Tommy Shannon and Outback
Steakhouse Execs Bob Basham and Chris Sullivan.  Steve Story,
spokesperson for the trust, said in a statement released late
yesterday:  "We have carefully analyzed their proposal and have
elected not to accept it.  We have received several offers in
excess of their proposal and we are currently perusing those
bids. ... We expect to have a resolution in the very near future"
(Bucs).  Shannon expressed his disappointment: "Obviously this
NFL franchise is worth a lot more than we thought.  If it had
only been a $5 or $10-millon (difference), we probably would have
stayed in the hunt" (Larry Dougherty, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES,
1/10).
     WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT?  Reportedly three other bids on the
table, "but only one definitely would keep the team in Tampa."
Orioles Owner Peter Angelos has offered $205M, which includes
provisions for a transfer fee to Baltimore, estimated at $15M, as
well as a $9M buyout of the Bucs' lease at Tampa Stadium.  The
"net to trustees would be an estimated $186M."  Palm Beach
financier Malcolm Glazer has offered at least $180M for the team,
and would keep the team in Tampa with a promise for a new
stadium.  There is speculation that an "undetermined" offer has
been made by a group headed by Jacksonville attorney Terry Moore
and Baltimore attorney Robert Schulman, according to this
morning's TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Moore would not comment on whether his
group would keep the team in Tampa or relocate to Baltimore,
where Schulman has tried to obtain previous franchises.  There
also could be other offers pending, including one from Yankees
Owner George Steinbrenner who spoke briefly with Shannon
yesterday about possibly joining together on a bid (Henderson &
Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/10).  Shannon said the trust told him
the Bucs will likely stay in Tampa, while Palm Beach millionaire
George Lindemann, who offered $137M for the team, was working on
a second bid when a team representative told his attorney that
the team "already had an offer that no one would believe."
Lindemann said it was his understanding that "we were wasting our
time" putting together a second bid (Stroud and Topkin, ST.
PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/10).

     One of the Ottawa Rough Riders' three largest sponsors,
Corel Corp., has denied a request by the team to buy the team or
increase its investment.  The refusal comes five months after
Corel agreed to advance the team $220,000 for the remaining two
years on a $320,000 sponsorship deal.  Riders President Phil
Kershaw said that Corel President Michael Cowpland feels he has
done his thing, that he stepped up to the plate when we needed
him.  I do not think that he is a candidate at this time to
purchase the team" (Don Campbell, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 1/10).

     ESPN's Keith Olbermann reported that KMOX Radio in St. Louis
is reporting that the Rams will announce the move to St. Louis
officially this Sunday.  KMOX reports Steve Ortmayer will take
over as Rams Dir of Football Operations and his first choice for
head coach would be Cowboys offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese
("SportsCenter," 1/9).