THE NFL DOMINO EFFECT: SEVERAL TEAMS WAIT FOR RAMS FALLOUT
Several NFL teams await the league's decision on the Rams to
decide their own future. In Cincinnati, Bengals President Mike
Brown reiterated his teams need for a new facility, but stressed
he has no desire to move. However, an NFL spokesperson said the
league's top priority is putting teams in St. Louis and L.A. as
early as '96. And if NFL owners "can find another team to move
to Los Angeles, the league probably would approve the Rams move."
A source close to the NFL said one option considered by the
owners in Phoenix is to build a stadium at Hollywood Park to be
shared by the Raiders and either the Bengals or the Browns. But
the Bengals' Brown said it "sounds like some imaginations are
running wild." Brown: "No one has brought these plans up to me.
No, the league can't make you move. It can only bar you. ... We
need a new stadium to compete, or we will have to look at other
options" (Green & Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/18). One
"possible scenario" has the Bengals moving to St. Louis if the
Rams remain in Anaheim (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19). In
Cleveland, Browns Owner Art Modell said his team had a stronger
case to move under the NFL relocation guidelines than the Rams.
Modell said his team will not play in Cleveland Stadium when the
lease runs out in '98, "unless there is a major overhaul under
way." Modell: "It's not a threat. It's simply a matter of
fact." If the stadium issue is not resolved, Modell said he
would consider selling the team to a buyer who might move the
club (Tony Grossi, Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER, 3/17).