St. Louis Official Also Denies Report : Pro football: Talk that Missouri businessman will buy 40% share of Rams is called "premature."


A St. Louis official has joined Ram President John Shaw in denying a report Thursday that the Rams have agreed to sell a minority interest in the team to businessman Stan Kroenke of Columbia, Mo.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in a copyright story Thursday, reported that Kroenke would buy a 40% share of the Rams, worth about $60 million.

Alan Bornstein, Kroenke's lawyer, said Thursday that the report was "premature."

"Stan clearly has been working toward a deal, but we are not at the point where it can be said that an agreement has been reached," Bornstein told the Associated Press. "Obviously, we hope to see an announcement of this sort at the appropriate time. But it could be days, weeks or perhaps never, depending on how several matters unfold."

Shaw emphatically denied the report when it was leaked Wednesday night, saying that no deal has been reached but negotiations with the St. Louis group FANS Inc. will continue.

Shaw indicated recently that St. Louis is the front-runner over Baltimore and the Orange County group Save the Rams, and that a minority share of the team could go to Kroenke. Shaw said no deal has been presented to Ram owner Georgia Frontiere.

Former Disneyland President Jack Lindquist, co-chairman of Save the Rams, said the group plans to meet again Tuesday but its most recent offer--a renovation of Anaheim Stadium and a guarantee of 45,000 season tickets--still stands.

Shaw has indicated that the Rams want a new football-only stadium.

"It's my opinion that we have made our final offer," Lindquist said. "I would recommend that the city and county not try to sweeten it at all.

"The Rams have to want to stay. But if they have the same attitude as they have had in the past, maybe they should move."

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