NFL ready to listen to Charlotte's plan

April 14, 1993|By Jon Morgan

Members of the NFL expansion committee will meet Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., and receive a presentation from officials in Charlotte, N.C., on their unprecedented financing proposal -- the success of which could determine whether the city wins a team.

The other cities competing for the two expansion franchises offer either renovations to existing stadiums or brand new stadiums financed with public funds. Baltimore has the funding in place for a new stadium adjacent to Camden Yards.

Charlotte's investors plan to raise capital by selling "rights" to season-ticket and premium-seat holders.

Charlotte's lack of public funding has been viewed as a significant drawback for the city, and officials will be given the opportunity Tuesday to overcome that perception. It will be the only presentation by a city at the meeting.

"It's somewhat of a unique concept and we want to make sure the committee understands it," said Roger Goodell, NFL vice president of operations who oversees expansion.

The committee may also decide whether it will ask the competing cities to collect deposits for premium seats as a way of proving the commitment of local fans. Among the expansion candidate cities, Baltimore, St. Louis and Memphis, Tenn., oppose the idea because of its costs.

Charlotte and Jacksonville, Fla., support it.

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