Finding home for Posse tops CFL agenda

Canadian Football League owners hope to find a home for the displaced Las Vegas Posse during a two-day board of governors meeting in Baltimore starting today.

That's not the only relocation item on the agenda, though. The governors also will address potential moves by franchises in Sacramento, Hamilton and Calgary.


While Las Vegas appears the most pressing item here -- the Posse's final home game was moved because of fan apathy -- Calgary might be the most vexing.

Owner Larry Ryckman has threatened to move what perhaps is the league's marquee franchise out of Calgary if he does not receive major concessions on the Stampeders' lease at McMahon Stadium.


Ryckman has set a Dec. 17 deadline for rent relief. If he is unable to get that fiscal relief, his most likely target city is San Antonio. Last week, he met with San Antonio Mayor Nelson Wolff about putting the team in the Alamodome.

But in recent weeks, Ryckman also has discussed the possibility of taking quarterback Doug Flutie, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1984 at Boston College, to Hartford, Conn.

The Stampeders averaged more than 25,000 fans at home this season, third best in the league behind Baltimore and Edmonton. But Ryckman, citing $1 million losses this season, says the critical issue is his lease, not attendance.

Baltimore owner Jim Speros said he thinks Ryckman will stay in Alberta. "I think the people in Calgary will come to their senses and give Larry Ryckman something he can live with," Speros said. "The lease has to be adjusted."

Other issues this week include:

* Las Vegas: If the team can be moved, it most likely will wind up in Birmingham, Ala. A public stock sale last summer makes a transfer a thorny task.

* Hamilton: The Tiger-Cats have until Dec. 23 to meet a league mandate of 12,500 season tickets and $1 million in corporate sponsorship. A CFL spokesman said the team has sold 9,000 season tickets and gotten $700,000 in sponsorships.

* Sacramento: Gold Miners owner Fred Anderson is attempting to buy the Oakland Athletics. If successful, he would put the CFL team in Oakland as well. If unsuccessful, he will try to move the team to Los Angeles.


* Television revenue: The governors will hear tomorrow about two potential TV contracts with U.S. networks, and of negotiations on expired Canadian contracts with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and TSN, the country's ESPN equivalent. The league's TV committee also is attempting to renegotiate its contract with ESPN2.