RAMS MOVE COULD HAVE BENGALS' BROWN CHANGING HIS STRIPES
A yes vote by NFL owners this week for a Rams relocation to
St. Louis "will set in motion a series of events that could
culminate in the Bengals leaving Cincinnati," according to Geoff
Hobson in this morning's CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Hobson reports
that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "has tapped the Bengals as a
candidate to replace the Rams in the No. 2 television market of
Southern California." Bengals President Mike Brown said for the
first time Monday, that "he doubts a stadium will be built in
Cincinnati." Brown refused to answer whether the team would play
in Cincinnati after the '95 season. Brown: "The answer may be
in. There probably isn't going to be a new stadium in
Cincinnati. If there isn't, we know what that means. I'm not
encouraged by the progress." Brown claims the team is no longer
tied to its stadium lease that expires in '99 because the city
was late making a $1.2M payment to the team (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,
HERE, KITTY KITTY: Hobson notes three possible scenarios
for a Bengals move. First, the team could move to Anaheim if the
Rams leave. The NFL could help them fund a new stadium with some
of the money taken from the Rams and possibly receive help from
Save the Rams or Disney. Second, the Bengals could move to the
L.A. Coliseum if the Raiders move to Anaheim or elsewhere.
Third, the Bengals could move to Baltimore, where there is state
funding in place to build a football-only stadium next to Camden
Yards. John Moag, Chair of the Maryland Stadium Authority, had
"no comment" when asked if he had spoken to Brown (CINCINNATI
ENQUIRER, 4/11). In Baltimore, Vito Stellino reports that
Brown's only business is football. Stellino: "Free agency, which
has raised players' pay despite the salary cap, has put him in a
financial squeeze because the Bengals are a low-revenue team at
Riverfront Stadium" (Baltimore SUN, 4/11).
MEANWHILE, BETWEEN L.A. & ST. LOUIS: Max Blecher, the Rams
lead litigator in a possible court case over the right to move to
St. Louis, is confident NFL owners will approve the move.
Blecher told Jim Thomas of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: "I think
you're going to get a football team on Wednesday." Rams
President John Shaw was "less glib and less optimistic on the
subject." Shaw: "I don't really have anything (new) to tell you"
(ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/11).