Victor Kiam, the businessman nearing completion of a deal to purchase the New England Patriots, has warned that because of the stadium lease it "may not be possible" to keep the football team in Foxboro, Mass., The Boston Herald reported Tuesday.
"I want to keep the team where it is right now," Kiam told the Herald. "But with the stadium situation like it is, that may not be possible. And there are a lot of cities that want NFL franchises."Although Kiam did not name any cities under possible consideration, his comments Monday came the same day a Connecticut legislator asked state development officials to study the possibility of building a professional football stadium in the Bridgeport area.
Rep. J. Vincent Chase, R-Stratford, said a stadium in Fairfield County, about 60 miles northeast of New York City, would provide a long-term solution to the financial woes faced by Sullivan Stadium, the Patriots' current home in Foxboro, Mass.
Kiam, who expects to complete his purchase of the Patriots within two weeks, is owner of Remington Products Inc. of Bridgeport, Conn.
"The thought of the New England Patriots - or even another NFL team - playing in Bridgeport, Connecticut is not such a far-fetched idea," Chase said. "Certainly the prospects of Victor Kiam - a Connecticut resident - purchasing the Patriots doesn't hurt this proposal."
Kiam is facing a possible option to purchase Sullivan Stadium for $23 million, but he said he does not believe the property is worth the price. He also said he is unhappy with the current lease arrangement and would be concerned about his vulnerability if the facility is sold to a third party.
"The one (lease) that is currently in effect is totally disadvantageous to the team in favor of the stadium and would be unacceptable," Kiam told the Herald.