Peter Angelos met for more than two hours yesterday with trustees trying to sell the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and reported "substantial progress" in his effort to buy the team and move it to Baltimore.
"We had some very fruitful discussions and they will continue," said Angelos, controlling partner in the Orioles who is leading an investment group trying to buy the Buccaneers.
"We are making substantial progress. The talks are ongoing and I expect they will continue next week and the week after that," Angelos said.
The meetings, in which he was accompanied by his attorney, George Stamas, were held in New York, where the Bucs trustees were attending to league business.
Angelos declined to reveal specifics of the talks, but acknowledged that the financial logistics of making an offer contingent on moving the franchise is a major topic.
The trustees are selling the team on behalf of a trust established by Hugh Culverhouse, the longtime franchise owner who died in August. The trustees have said that they would prefer to sell to a local buyer, but acknowledge that they have a fiduciary responsibility to the trust to strike the best deal they can.
Because he would base the team in a new, highly profitable stadium, Angelos will be able to bid higher than competitors trying to keep the team in Tampa. However, many of them are betting that Angelos will be blocked by the NFL from moving the team, something the trustees also can take into consideration while weighing competing offers.
"The problem is not getting a team but getting it moved up here," Angelos said.
Earlier in the year, Angelos made a two-tiered offer: $200 million if the team is able to move to Baltimore and less if not.
"While we do not have an agreement, we are in agreement on a number of points," Angelos said.
Bucs trustee Steve Story, in a statement released last night, said the meeting with Angelos was a continuation of a previous session held Nov. 18 in Orlando, Fla.
"We discussed some structural issues concerning a possible offer to buy the Buccaneers," Story said. "However, no offer has been made at this time."
Story and trustee Jack Donlan also met with NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, at their request, to update him on the status of the sale.
Meanwhile, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported that Norton Herrick is dropping, at least temporarily, his pursuit of the Bucs to concentrate on trying to land a major-league baseball expansion team for Orlando.