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Coliseum, Anaheim Stadium Among Finalists for Super Bowl XXV

March 17, 1987|MARK HEISLER | Times Staff Writer

KAANAPALI, Maui — The National Football League's site committee announced the finalists for the 25th anniversary 1991 Super Bowl and dropped a bombshell. Among the finalists are the Los Angeles Coliseum, which is still suing the league, and Anaheim Stadium, which has fewer seats than any stadium that has ever had the game.

Were the Southland entries a surprise? Ask a Northern Californian.

"Why anyone would consider Anaheim, except for the fact that Disneyland is a mile away!" said a flabbergasted State Sen. Quentin L. Kopp (Ind.-San Francisco), who presented the unsuccessful San Francisco bid.

"It's got hotels, but geez, that stadium .

"And how the league would ever consider going to the Coliseum which is in litigation!"

The Coliseum is still a partner with the Raiders in the antitrust suit against the NFL. Coliseum officials decided to make a presentation based on the fact that the game started on their field in 1967, but they candidly described themselves as dark-horses and took a what-do-we-have-to-lose attitude. Monday, their ship came in, or at least it sailed partway into the harbor.

So did Anaheim's. Anaheim Stadium holds just fewer than 69,000 people, although it has announced plans to expand to 74,000 if it gets the Super Bowl. That would make it bigger than the Louisiana Superdome, which has already been the site of three of the games.

"If seating capacity were the only criteria, we'd have the game in Pasadena every year." said Eagle owner Norman Braman, the site committee chairman.

Pasadena, which just had Super Bowl XXI, was among the rejectees. Others turned down were New Orleans, which already has the '90 game; the San Francisco tandem which offered a choice of Candlestick Park or Stanford Stadium, Atlanta and Jacksonville, Fla.

There was a third Southern California finalist, San Diego, which will hold the next game and is becoming increasingly popular.

"San Diego is committed this year to spending $2 million," Kopp said. "They're going to pay for the commissioner's party which is $750,000-$1 million and they're going to provide automobiles and other niceties. It'll all amount to $2 million."

Was he suggesting that the game now has to be purchased?

"You can draw that inference," Kopp said. "It appears to take substantial inducements, like paying for the commissioner's party."

Kopp also said that studies after the '85 game at Stanford showed that an extra $116 million was spent in the Bay Area and $1.1 million was collected in sales and hotel taxes, all attributable to the event.

Knowing what it takes, will San Francisco bid again?

"If it's up to me, yeah," said Kopp.

Also making the final cut were Tampa and Miami.

The NFL is set to name the Rams and Broncos as this year's matchup for the Aug. 9 exhibition game in London's Wembley Stadium.

Pete Rozelle, however, would only say that both teams are being considered. The sticking point is that the NFL Players Assn., which gave its approval readily a year ago, is now said to be asking for something this time around. Players are not on salary during pre-season and last year's game drew a sellout 80,000.

"It's a unique situation," said Jim Rhein, NFL director of administration. "The game is going to be played in early August, which is actually under the old agreement. But a new agreement has to be worked out before then."

The NFL would probably prefer making the announcement in early April in London, as it did last year.

Ram owner Georgia Frontiere has an apartment in London and is described as keen to go. She was last season, too, but lost out when the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys were selected.

Afterward, Cowboy Coach Tom Landry wondered if the trip, which prolongs the exhibition season, wasn't a problem. Dallas lost all the rest of its exhibitions but then started the regular season 6-2.

Does Coach John Robinson think it's a problem?

"If we go, I don't," he said.

The competition committee announced the new instant replay format which will be presented to the owners: The system will be the same, but with one major change: An eighth official added to the crew to make calls off the TV monitor, rather than using men from the supervisor of officials' office.

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