ESPN Zone may land 'MNF' shows Baltimore's chances 'better than 50-50'


For the first time in its 28 years, "Monday Night Football" will have a pre-game show, and Baltimore stands to be a part of that history.

Steve Bornstein, who serves as president of ABC Sports and ESPN, said the odds are "better than 50-50" that the network will bring the "MNF" pre-game and halftime shows to the new ESPN Zone restaurant for the entire 1998 season.

"We've never, ever done a pre-game show before. We've done halftime from the studio. We really thought that was antiseptic. We're looking at this as the beginning of taking this show on the road -- if we do it here," said Bornstein during Saturday night's opening of the restaurant.

"I think it's going to do better if we take it out of the studio environment. That's my inclination, and this is a great place to do it."

Bornstein said the show -- wherever it goes -- will relocate from New York for the entire season. It's a pretty good bet that Chris Berman would be a part of the Baltimore show, but it's not so clear that Frank Gifford, who will shift out of the booth to the studio, would come south.

Pub Date: 7/14/98

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