Houston businessman Robert McNair, who is trying to get an expansion team in his city, says he might try to buy the Denver Broncos if a stadium referendum fails there Tuesday.
Houston television station KRIV reported Wednesday that McNair said he'd love to own "the Houston Broncos." The same report was carried Thursday in both the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post.
McNair did not immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press on Thursday.
Voters in the six-county Denver metropolitan area will vote next week on a referendum that would extend a 1 cent-per-$10 dollar sales tax imposed to finance construction of Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies to help pay for a new stadium for the Broncos.
"The Broncos have a referendum coming up Nov. 3, and I would hope they will approve the referendum and get a new stadium up there," McNair said. "If they don't, (Denver owner) Pat Bowlen said he might sell the team, and if he does, I couldn't envision anything nicer than the Houston Broncos."
McNair, multimillionaire founder and chief executive officer of Houston-based Cogen Technologies, is trying to get an expansion franchise for Houston. He led a Houston delegation to Kansas City to present their case to NFL owners Tuesday.
Of the three groups tht made presentations -- the other two were from Los Angeles -- Houston was the only one with a stadium deal already approved.
Earlier this month, McNair reached an agreement with Houston city and county officials on a financing plan for a $310 million, 70,000-seat retractable-roof stadium that will be built next to the Astrodome.
Bowlen said Wednesday night he hasn't discussed selling the Broncos with McNair.
"The only thing I said to McNair is that his presentation was fantastic. From the overall scope of things, he is really ahead of other people because he can start building his stadium tomorrow. The last thing I would say to anybody from Houston is, 'See me, because I'll sell the team.' That's way out there. It never happened. All I'm thinking about is this election for this community."
© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved