•St. Louis (Stallions). Pluses: Former home of an NFL team. Magnificent $258 million, 70,000-seat domed stadium under construction. Largest TV market without an NFL team. Headquarters of Anheuser-Busch, which spends $43 million a year in advertising with the league. Minuses: Former front-runner faltered in recent weeks after ownership shake-up (James Busch Orthwein, hometown boy with $200 million fortune, pulled out as a principal partner due to conflict of interest with his role as principal owner of New England Patriots; he remains a limited partner. New majority partner Jerry Clinton has been hard-pressed to find replacement investors). Only contender to fail to sell all its luxury boxes.
•Jacksonville (Jaguars). Pluses: Financing backed by J. Wayne Weaver, who built a $270 million fortune from chain of shoe stores. Several owners admire Weaver's style and would like to see him in the league—but not with Jacksonville. Renovation planned for 73,000-seat Gator Bowl. Sale of 10,000 premium seats in 10 days proves city is hungry for NFL. Minuses: Group temporarily pulled out of running earlier this year. Smallest TV market of the five.
Did Michael Jordan's announcement on Oct. 6 that he was retiring from basketball (page 28) cause a stir not only under the NBA boards but also on the Big Board? That day the Dow Jones Index was up nearly 12 points, but the five companies with products endorsed by Jordan—Nike, McDonald's, Sara Lee (the parent company of Jordan-hawked Hanes underwear and Ball Park franks), Quaker Oats (Gatorade) and General Mills (Wheaties)—all closed down on the New York Stock Exchange, from ⅛ to, in the case of Nike, ¾ of a point. Who says one Bull can't affect the market?
Faced with post-cold war cutbacks, the ever resourceful defense industry has begun beating swords into...sporting goods. As contractors retool, athletes reap the benefits from an array of previously unavailable high-tech materials such as bullet-resistant Spectra fiber, which, though still being used to protect United Nations forces in Bosnia, is finding its way into racing sails, kayaks and climbing ropes.
Aircraft-grade titanium has flooded the world market since the Soviet Union's breakup and is turning up in such peacetime items as mountain bikes, softball bats, golf club shafts and ski poles. Boralyn, a material used for tank treads and Apache helicopter armor, is going into arrow shafts, race car brakes and hockey and lacrosse sticks. G. Loomis, a manufacturer of fishing equipment, is now using a graphite/resin system in its fly rods. The resulting GLX "Anti Gravity" fly rods are, according to Loomis, the lightest ever built.
Of course, they also happen to be among the most expensive, retailing for more than $500 a rod. None of the other state-of-the-art items comes cheap cither. Mountain bikes made with Boralyn start at $1,700, and the titanium softball bat retails for—take a deep breath—$400.
Then again, cost control never was one of the defense industry's strong points. "Remember," says one converted contractor, "we're the guys who brought you the $1,300 coffee pot and the $2 million toilet."
Timing Is Everything
Just in case you didn't notice: Harry Gant, 53, a 14-year veteran of the NASCAR circuit, chose Oct. 6 to hold a press conference announcing his retirement from racing after the 1994 season.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]