The Washington Commandos may stay at Capital Centre next season even if the Arena Football league team does not find an owner, according to league president Jim Foster.

Capital Centre made a formal offer this week that would guarantee the Arena Football league a set amount of money for every Commandos home game while the league retained ownership, said Brad Barton, the league's marketing director.

Patrick Darr, Capital Centre's vice president of events, called the offer "hard and fast," but neither he nor Foster said how much the fee would be. Foster did say operating costs around the league in its first season this summer averaged about $80,000 per game.

Although Chicago and the Detroit expansion teams are the only ones with solid ownership agreements -- and a group in Los Angeles last week offered to buy an expansion team there -- managers of arenas for teams in Pittsburgh, Denver and possible expansion sites are considering proposals similar to Capital Centre's.

"The fact is, everybody made money last year, and that's what they {arena officials} like," Barton said.

League officials are negotiating with ESPN on their current agreement and with Fox Television for another possible contract.

Between television and arena revenue, Foster said, "As long as we can get enough money to operate the team, it's okay with me in either case."

But Foster said in the long run he would prefer his original plan: investors buy limited ownership rights for each team at $2 million.

No takers have been found yet in Washington, where Foster says there are several interested groups.

Ex-Redskin George Starke is heading one of them, but said yesterday he is waiting to see how financially viable the rest of the league is before making an offer, and said he has yet to make any progress.