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St. Louis' Offer to Rams May Not Be Rich Enough

October 14, 1994|From Staff and Wire Reports

St. Louis is offering the Rams almost all the revenue from a new $258-million, 70,000-seat domed stadium, a new practice facility and millions of dollars in other incentives to move to Missouri.

That might not be enough for the Rams.

Thomas Eagleton, a former U.S. senator leading the city's bid to land an NFL team, said Thursday during a St. Louis news conference that "many, many differences" between the city's proposal and the Rams' wish list surfaced during Wednesday's 4 1/2-hour meeting in Los Angeles. "We did by no means agree to their entire wish list," Eagleton said. "Quite the opposite."

The major items on the Rams' list are payments of $30 million the team owes for Anaheim Stadium improvements, $15 million to cover anticipated NFL relocation fees and $15 million to build a new practice facility. The team is also considering offers from Baltimore and Orange County.

Eagleton outlined plans to institute a permanent seat-licensing program, in which fans pay a one-time fee for the right to buy season tickets, as a way to generate $60 million or more to cover such costs.

Ram President John Shaw declined comment on the negotiations, and St. Louis officials would not discuss specific details.

"There are differences, and the major difference can be summarized in one word--money," St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. said.

Eagleton and political officials at the news conference said remaining negotiations will be done behind closed doors. "The Rams don't want it public," St. Louis County Executive George (Buzz) Westfall said. "And if we show our poker hand to other players at the table, they'll know exactly what to bid."

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