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NFL Expansion Cities at a Glance

October 17, 1993|From Associated Press

The five cities bidding for an NFL expansion team:

BALTIMORE

STADIUM: Team owners will build a $160 million stadium with a capacity of more than 72,000 -- including 108 skyboxes and 7,500 club seats -- paid for with bonds backed by special lotteries and stadium revenue.

OWNERSHIP GROUP: The only candidate with two ownership groups vying for one team. Clothing magnate Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass leads one group, which features filmmaker Barry Levinson ("Diner") and former NFL player Joe Washington. The other group is headed by Florida-based corporate investor Malcolm Glazer, who said his sons will run the team.

TV MARKET: No. 22.

OTHER SPORTS: Baseball's Orioles, who moved into acclaimed Oriole Park at Camden Yards last year. There are several small college teams in the city, including Morgan State and Towson State, while the University of Maryland plays its home games on campus, about 25 miles away. Hockey's Washington Capitals franchise is in nearby Landover.

PRO FOOTBALL HISTORY: The Baltimore Colts played in the NFL from 1953-83, when owner Robert Irsay packed up moving vans in the dead of night and took the team to Indianapolis. The Colts were NFL champions in 1958, 1959 and 1970. The city also had a USFL team, the Stars, who played at the University of Maryland.

TRAVELOG: Baltimore, 40 miles from the nation's capital, features the refurbished Inner Harbor, with dozens of upscale shops and restaurants and one of the nation's finest aquariums. The Inner Harbor area is about a quarter-mile from Camden Yards, site of the 1993 All-Star game.

CHARLOTTE

STADIUM: Ownership plans a stadium seating 72,000. The franchise would play the 1995 season at Clemson University.

OWNERSHIP GROUP: A 15-member group is led by Jerry Richardson, whose Flagstar Companies operates Denny's and Hardees restaurants.

TV MARKET: No. 29.

OTHER SPORTS: The NBA Charlotte Hornets will play their sixth season this fall after making the playoffs for the first time last spring. They led the league in attendance for four seasons, with a streak of 194 straight sellouts at the 23,698-seat Charlotte Coliseum. The city also has a minor-league hockey team, the Checkers; the Knights, a Triple A farm team of the Cleveland Indians; and Arena Football. College basketball is king in North Carolina, with the last three NCAA champions coming from the state.

PRO FOOTBALL HISTORY: The Hornets of the World Football League had a one-year stint in the city's 20,000-seat stadium, having moved from New York. The franchise died with the league in 1975. Two USFL exhibitions were played in the city, but the league never located there.

TRAVELOG: It has been a perennial home to NCAA postseason basketball, and is host for the two NASCAR races. There are museums, a performing arts center, and an amusement park south of the city on the South Carolina border. There also are two recreational lakes outside the city.

JACKSONVILLE

STADIUM: 82,000-seat Gator Bowl will undergo $121 million renovation if franchise is granted. The stadium will have a seating capacity of 73,000, including 10,000 club seats and 68 luxury boxes.

OWNERSHIP GROUP: Touchdown Jacksonville! Ltd., headed by Connecticut shoe executive J. Wayne Weaver. Group also includes his brother, Ronald; Jeb Bush, son of former President George Bush; Jacksonville businessman Thomas J. Petway III; and former NFL player Deron Cherry, an All-Pro safety for Kansas City.

TV MARKET: No. 56, lowest among bidders.

OTHER SPORTS: No professional franchises, although area is headquarters for the PGA and ATP tours. City hosts two major college football games: the annual Florida-Georgia game and the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day. College sports, particularly football, are popular.

PRO FOOTBALL HISTORY: Jacksonville had franchises in the WFL in the 1970s and USFL in the 1980s. The Bulls led the USFL in attendance. In 1979, Robert Irsay said he was looking to move the Baltimore Colts to Jacksonville, but he only used the city as a bargaining chip. In 1984, John Mecom Jr., talked about moving the Saints to Jacksonville, then sold them to Tom Benson. In 1987, the city offered Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams a $115.2 million guarantee to move the team to the Gator Bowl, but Adams backed out. That same year, Falcons owner Rankin Smith Sr. talked about moving to Jacksonville, but decided to stay in Atlanta when assured the Georgia Dome would be built. Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell also toured the Gator Bowl before moving the team to Phoenix.

TRAVELOG: Located on St. Johns River on Florida's Atlantic coast, the city is a major port. St. Augustine, nation's oldest city, is 20 miles to the south. Amelia Island, a popular resort, also is nearby. Jacksonville Landing, a revitalized downtown entertainment and retail complex, is located on the river.

MEMPHIS

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