Insurance costs pinch NFL
By News Wire Services
August 28, 2002

NFL team owners said stadium insurance premiums have risen as much as five times from what they were before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The situation worsened this month when Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lost its insurance.

The stadium's owner and operator, the Tampa (Fla.) Sports Authority, received a notice stating its insurance policy would not be renewed and that it has until Oct. 1 to find other insurance for the 65,000-seat stadium.

Insurance at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, increased to $2.4 million from about $500,000 last year, said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

In Philadelphia, insurance on Veterans Stadium rose to $1.8 million from about $750,000, according to Don Smolenski, the Eagles' chief financial officer.

"The cost of property and liability coverage has gone up dramatically because of the terrorism aspect of it," said Steve Doss, a vice president at Van Gilder Insurance Corp. in Denver, which provides coverage for the Denver Broncos and Invesco Field at Mile High. "The unpredictability and fact that public facilities are potential targets are what's driving the rates."

GETTING THE CALL: Wide receiver Patrick Jeffers, slowed over two seasons because of knee injuries, was released Tuesday by the Carolina Panthers.

Jeffers - a former Denver Broncos practice squad player - had a breakout season in 1999, his first in Carolina, when he caught 63 passes for 1,083 yards and a team-record 12 touchdown receptions.

But he tore ligaments in his knee during a preseason game at Pittsburgh the next season. He missed all of 2000 and was used sporadically last year.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: Running back Jamal Anderson won't be part of the New England Patriots' immediate plans, after all.

A day after Anderson's agent said a deal was all but done, coach Bill Belichick said Anderson won't be on the roster.

Belichick refused to get into specifics about the decision, but said of the oft-injured back, "I don't quite think he was ready. Maybe it will change, and maybe it won't."

ETC.: Running back Ki-Jana Carter was cut Tuesday by Green Bay, perhaps ending his injury-plagued career. Carter, drafted No. 1 overall by Cincinnati in 1995 after a stellar three-year stint at Penn State, never challenged for the Packers' backup tailback job . . . San Francisco backup quarterback Cade McNown needs surgery on his left shoulder and will miss the season . . . Houston placed safety Leomont Evans, temporarily paralyzed in the team's preseason opener, on injured reserve with a bruised spinal cord . . . St. Louis signed free-agent wide receiver Will Blackwell, who has missed most of the past two seasons with Pittsburgh . . . Buffalo guard Jerry Ostroski, unable to fully recover from knee surgery, announced his retirement . . . Jacksonville owner Wayne Weaver thinks caving in to receiver Jimmy Smith's contract demands would signal an unwise shift back toward the free-spending days that got the team into a salary-cap mess . . . Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent won the Republican primary in the race to succeed Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, who is being forced from office by term limits. Largent won the nomination easily, taking more than 85 percent of the vote.


Copyright 2002, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

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