Expansion will not be a part of NFL owners' March meeting

December 28, 1990|By John Steadman

Plans for taking up the subject of expansion at the National Football League team owners' meeting scheduled for March in Hawaii have been deferred to a later spring date, a league source said.

The NFL is attempting to discourage potential expansion cities from sending delegations to the annual owners' gathering because it doesn't plan to officially address the subject at that time. Baltimore, St. Louis, Sacramento, Memphis, Jacksonville and Charlotte were expected to be represented.

However, the NFL says it will continue to gather information regarding expansion before concentrating on the various aspects of adding new teams. Herb Belgrad, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, is preparing Baltimore's presentation. He said he has not been informed of any deviation in procedures.

"We have not been advised of a change but fully understand that the NFL now has its focus on completing the regular season, the playoffs and the Super Bowl," Belgrad said.

"It's our understanding the expansion and realignment committee will continue its work and between March, after the owners' meeting in Hawaii, and the regular meeting in October, that it will have a report ready regarding the various cities."

Belgrad insisted Baltimore was ready to respect the wishes of the NFL, but he wants to make sure other cities adhere to the same "ground rules." He wants to be certain rival expansion sites don't try to gain an edge by having a presence at the meetings if the Baltimore group stays away.

The NFL hopes to two expansion teams for the 1993 season.

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