Angelos may raise Bucs offer

January 15, 1995|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,Sun Staff Writer

Both of the Baltimore-based bidders for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking at last-minute improvements to their offers for the football team in hopes of derailing the momentum of Malcolm Glazer.

Mr. Glazer, a Palm Beach, Fla.-based financier, could clinch a deal tomorrow to buy the club from the trust managing the assets of the late owner Hugh Culverhouse.

The team says two substantial but undisclosed financial issues are unresolved but are up for discussion tomorrow. Lawyers for the two sides were expected to meet today, but Mr. Glazer was not due to participate until tomorrow.

The competing investment groups, one headed by Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos and the other represented by a pair of attorneys, including Baltimorean Robert B. Schulman, are considering changes and hold out hope that the Glazer bid may collapse.

"We're reviewing our position and feel there is still an opportunity to make a deal," Mr. Angelos said yesterday.

"I'm not going to just walk away from this," he said.

Terry Moore, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based partner of Mr. Schulman in the bid, told the St. Petersburg Times yesterday: "We've got some items still to be discussed that we hope to have resolved Monday morning. I don't think we're out of it.

"I think this is kind of like a horse race. The way I characterize it, going into Wednesday we may have had more momentum. Now I think they [the Glazers] may have overtaken us and they have more momentum."

Next week is shaping up as a potentially devastating one for Baltimore's long-suffering NFL fans. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Rams are scheduled to announce a move to St. Louis, barring any glitches in the negotiations.

Details of the agreement appeared in the Los Angeles Times yesterday and demonstrate the high costs Baltimore or any other city could face in trying to persuade a team owner to relocate.

The Rams will receive a new, domed stadium, already under construction, for a below-cost rent of $250,000 a year for the next 30 years. The team will keep all revenues from stadium concession sales, advertising and ticket sales.

Furthermore, a St. Louis-based corporate organization called Civic Progress has guaranteed 100 percent sales of sky boxes and club seats for the first three years, and 85 percent sellouts for the next 15 years. Club seats are luxury seats that carry an annual fee in addition to season-ticket costs.

St. Louis fans also must buy one-time premium seat licenses of $250 to $4,500 on a minimum of 45,000 seats. The fees, which are in addition to annual season-ticket costs, will raise $60 million.

Of the $60 million, $30 million will go toward paying off the bond debt the team owes for breaking its lease at Anaheim Stadium in California and $15 million will go toward building the team a practice facility, cover all moving and legal expenses for the team except any league-imposed relocation fee. Beer distributor Jerry Clinton will get $8 million in exchange for his share of the lease on the St. Louis stadium he helped win approval for, and the Rams will get $6 million to $7 million to cover projected losses from the 1994 season.

The newspaper estimates that the team will generate profits in excess of $20 million in its new home.

Rams president John Shaw told the Times that the team seriously considered Baltimore but was concerned about the outspokenness of Mr. Angelos, who was offering to buy a minority stake in the team, and that the stadium was not yet under construction in Baltimore.

St. Louis-area developer Stan Kroenke, who has agreed to buy 30 percent of the team for $60 million, was more in the low-key mold they were looking for in a silent partner and did not demand eventual control of the team as Mr. Angelos did, the newspaper said.

Mr. Angelos said allowing the Rams perpetual control over the team defeated the purpose of trying to bring a team to Baltimore and spare the city further worries over losing another team.

"The whole idea was to avoid a replay" of the 1984 Colts move to Indianapolis, he said.

"If it's controlled by Baltimoreans, it's less likely the city will get shafted or exploited down the road," Mr. Angelos said.

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