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Volume 24 No. 158


     Rams Owner Georgia Frontiere took her case for moving the
team to St. Louis to fellow NFL owners yesterday in Dallas.  The
league will now study the proposal before Commissioner Paul
Tagliabue makes a recommendation on whether to approve or reject
the move before the league's spring meeting in March.  During a
"privileged" conference with team owners, Tagliabue said the
issue of a relocation fee and the Rams plans for revenue they
will receive from PSL's "was discussed, but not in detail."  He
declined to say if the league would ask for such a fee, or how
much it would be.  The Rams have stated they shouldn't have to
pay a relocation fee (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 2/17).
     NOT A SLAM DUNK:  League sources "indicated several owners
are not yet convinced the Rams have met the league's criteria for
relocation."  One NFL source: "This is not a slam dunk by any
means" (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 2/17).  ESPN's Chris
Mortenson reported last night that the league is "most concerned"
about the Rams' failure to negotiate "in good faith" with parties
in Southern CA to remain in the area.  Save the Rams, a Southern
CA civic group, has been given 30 days by the league "to document
it's promise to build a new stadium for the Rams."  Mortenson
says if Save the Rams is successful in proving their claims, the
Rams move "won't be rubber stamped, and will spark serious
debate" at the owners meeting in March ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
2/16).  If the Rams pay a large moving fee, "they'll get the
votes next month," according to Bernie Miklasz.  Miklasz says the
reason for the "foot-dragging" in the move is that the NFL is "a
cartel, run by a control-freak commissioner" (ST. LOUIS POST
DISPATCH, 2/17).

     The new ownership of the Heat took out a full-page ad in
Thursday's MIAMI HERALD and Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL to
reassure fans of their commitment to winning.  The ad leads: "We
Must Admit The Heat Hasn't Exactly Set The World On Fire" and
features typical complaints from Heat fans, such as: "The Heat
Doesn't Know How to Draft ... How Could We Blow A 20 Point Lead?
...  Do Something, Anything."  The team's response is written at
the bottom:  "Enough said.  We've heard it all. ... So, we're
making changes."  The ad announces the recent personnel changes
and offered a fan give-a-way held at last night's game against
the Knicks.  The ad ends: "Join Us. ... But hold on to your
seats.  We're giving it our best shot" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/16).
     HEAT WAVE:  Heat fans have to give new Heat Owner Micky
Arison "credit" for trying to improve the team, according to
Edwin Pope of the MIAMI HERALD.  Arison "controls the Heat and he
can do whatever he wants" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/16).  The HERALD also
featured a lengthy, Q&A with new GM Dave Wohl.  Wohl on the
building process: "By the fifth year, I'd like to be in the NBA
Finals" (Bob Rubin, MIAMI HERALD, 2/16).

     Rockies limited partner Oren Benton, once viewed as one of
the richest men in CO, personally owes creditors $400M and may
have to sell his share in the team.  Benton, who deals in
uranium, was sued for failure to deliver $1M of uranium to an
English utility and for his inability to pay some of his
employees.  Benton, who meets with creditors today, claimed that
his problems would not affect the Rockies, and "another general
partner of the team said Benton's nearly 25% interest would never
be offered publicly for sale."  Rockies General partner Charles
Monfort said he and fellow Rockies partner Jerry McMorris would
be able to purchase Benton's stake "if necessary."  Benton's
share is reportedly worth between $30M-40M.  Benton's debts grew
out of uranium trading (Alex Berenson, DENVER POST, 2/17).