Rams reject lease, keeping options open

December 14, 1993|By T.J. Simers | T.J. Simers,Los Angeles Times

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Rams have chosen to risk being evicted from their practice facility rather than accept a long-term lease to remain at Rams Park.

John Shaw, Rams executive vice president, said that the Magnolia School District -- through the city of Anaheim -- notified the Rams recently that it had rejected the team's offer to double the rent for a two-year extension at Rams Park, the old Juliette Low School.

"I'd be frankly surprised if the school board tried to evict us," Shaw said. "But yes, there is a possibility of eviction. We have looked at some other sites in Orange County and in Los Angeles County, and if we have to, we will move to one of those sites.

"The lease expires Dec. 31, and that's where it leaves us."

There has been speculation that the Rams rejected the Magnolia School District's earlier offer to extend the practice facility lease 15 years to position the team for a possible move to Baltimore.

The Rams' lease with the city of Anaheim for the use of Anaheim Stadium expires in 2015, but an escape clause in the lease allows the Rams to leave if they give 15 months' notice and pay off the remaining $30 million owed on bonds issued to expand the stadium for the Rams when they moved here.

Shaw declined to comment when asked if the team is about to give such notice.

Shaw said yesterday that the team has had no contact with Baltimore officials about such a move, but the Rams have hired a Baltimore-area law firm to investigate the legalities of moving a team within a short distance of the Washington Redskins.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly said earlier: "I want the city council to get all the facts about the current [stadium] agreement. The Rams are not denying they are getting offers from other cities."

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