The NFL is expected to announce Thursday or Friday that it will expand by two teams in the 1993 season and that the new cities will be announced next year, a newspaper reported today.
Arthur (Chick) Sherrer, president of Touchdown Jacksonville Inc., which is trying to bring an expansion franchise to Jacksonville, said team owners and representatives of the league office had told him the announcement would be made this week, The Florida Times-Union said in today's editions.
Jim Heffernan, NFL director of public relations, confirmed Sherrer's statements.
"You're on firm ground with that, yes," Heffernan said.
An owners meeting scheduled for Chicago Thursday was called off, and any matters that require a vote will be done by telephone.
The league last expanded in 1976.
"That's the best news we've heard since we started in the NFL derby. This formal process makes expansion a definite reality,' Sherrer said.
In addition to Jacksonville, other cities seeking expansion teams are Baltimore, St. Louis, Memphis, Charlotte, N.C., and possibly Oakland, depending on the status of the Raiders.