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Colts Say Team Not Planning Move

May 17, 2002

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Don’t expect to see the Indianapolis Colts in Los Angeles anytime soon.

Team and city officials said Thursday that the Colts are not interested in moving to Los Angeles. Instead, the two sides are looking for ways to help increase the Colts’ bottom line so they can remain competitive in the NFL and stay in Indianapolis.

``Our whole focus is on Indianapolis, putting the best team we can on the field and partnering with the city government to put together the best situation we can,″ team president Bill Polian said. ``That’s our sole and only focus.″

The Los Angeles rumors began in earnest after NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue appointed five owners to explore the possibility of putting a team in Los Angeles. Tagliabue hinted that expansion may not be a possibility, meaning an existing team would have to move.

Los Angeles has been without a team since the Rams left for St. Louis and the Raiders for Oakland in the spring of 1995.

But Polian and Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Mike O’Connor said there has been no talk of moving in the four meetings between Colts owner Jim Irsay and the mayor’s office on stadium issues.

``Jim Irsay has been clear on that _ he has no intention of taking them.″ O’Connor said. ``We have no fear of losing them to Los Angeles because we will give them no reason to leave Indianapolis.″

Irsay was returning from Houston on Thursday and unavailable for comment.

The Colts’ current lease expires in 2014, although they could get out of it as early as 2006.

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