Despite denials from NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and
Cleveland Mayor Michael White, reports continue that the Bucs,
wrapped in "increasingly hostile" negotiations with Hillsborough
County officials for a new stadium, have held talks with private
representatives from Cleveland about replacing the Browns. But
Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer can't make a move until the owners
decide the Browns' fate, according to the TAMPA TRIBUNE.
Tagliabue called the Bucs-to-Cleveland scenario a "rumor without
foundation," and while Bucs GM Rich McKay said Glazer wants to
keep the Bucs in Tampa, he added that it is not appropriate to
comment on "any meetings scheduled or correspondence going on."
Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen said replacing the Browns with another
team is a "possible solution," while Raiders Owner Al Davis said,
when asked if the Bucs might get pushed to Cleveland, "Maybe they
won't have to be pushed" (Joe Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/18).
In Tampa, Hillsborough County Commissioners spent two-and-a-half
hours discussing stadium plans yesterday, but were unable to
reach any consensus (Rick Stroud, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/18).
MLB owners are expected to approve the Walt Disney Co.'s
proposed 25% purchase of the Angels today, but completion of the
deal hinges on unresolved stadium lease issues, according to the
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Disney's agreement to buy a share of the
team includes a provision that allows the company to cancel the
deal if lease issues are not resolved with the city of Anaheim
within 60 days. Called the "second-worst in baseball" by Owner
Jackie Autry, the Angels' lease runs through 2001, and Anaheim
City Manager Jim Ruth said he hopes to have the matter resolved
"in less than 60 days; that's the outside time limit." The
Angels and Anaheim had talked about building a new stadium, but
Disney officials think the most economic approach is to remodel
the existing stadium. Ruth: "We have to mutually find a way it
can be financed so it won't be a burden to the team or taxpayers"
(Miller & Fisher, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/18). Ken Daley
writes that Disney's decision to sell its L.A. TV station, KCAL,
removed the final stumbling block in its bid to take over the
team (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/18).
While NFL owners are dealing with numerous faxes and calls
from angry Browns fans, many said they have not heard anything
similar from Houston. As a result, according to the HOUSTON
CHRONICLE, it is likely the Oilers will be allowed to leave.
Giants Co-Owner Robert Tisch: "The attitude is that the city of
Houston doesn't seem overwhelmed that they [the Oilers] will not
be there. Their mayor hasn't stood up. It is up to Houston to
solve their problem" (John Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/18).
The Mariners found that playing in October is the key to
marketing baseball in the Northwest, according to the Tacoma NEWS
TRIBUNE. Mariners President Chuck Armstrong says the team, with
7,300 season-ticket holders last season, now has deposits for
10,000. And they believe they can sell 12,000. He added they
are yet to start their "serious ad campaign." Mariners VP/Sales
& Marketing Bob Gobrecht says corporate sponsorship could double
in '96, which could bring in an additional $2M in revenue. In
addition, the first season highlight video ever produced by the
team has sold more than 120,000 copies. Also, more than 1,200
spring training travel packages have been sold -- nearly 1,000
more than ever before (Larry LaRue, Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 1/16).
T-WOLVES MAKE GAINS: The T-Wolves announced yesterday the
addition of 20 new corporate partners for '95-96, marking their
best off-court effort since their first season in '89-90. The
list of new partners includes Hewlett-Packard, Pepsi, AFLAC,
Oscar Mayer, Direct TV, USSB, Sony, PIzza Hut, and the U.S.
Postal Service (T-Wolves).
MOTIVATIONAL SNEAKERS? In an attempt to bolster attendance
among members of the local business community for games with
"struggling rivals," the Nets are featuring pre-game
presentations by motivational speakers. According to CRAIN'S NEW
YORK BUSINESS, the Nets three-event "Captain Series" has already
sold $275,000 in tickets to businesses such as Enterprise Rent-A-
Car, American Express, and Prudential Securities. Nets Dir of
Business Development Howard Nuchow: "When you play in the shadow
of New York, and you have the Knicks with all the glamour and
tradition, you have to do something unique." Notre Dame's Lou
Holtz is scheduled to appear in February (CRAIN'S NY BUSINESS,
The sale of the Pirates to Kevin McClatchy will not be
ratified by MLB owners meeting this week in L.A., but NL
President Leonard Coleman said that should not be taken as a sign
that McClatchy's bid is collapsing, according to the WASHINGTON
POST. Coleman said owners yesterday sent McClatchy a list
outlining what he needs to accomplish for approval. Coleman also
said the ownership committee's remaining work can be done via
conference call, and Pirates officials say they hope the
McClatchy deal can be completed next week (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON