SBD/16/Franchises

STEELERS OWNERSHIP CONSIDERS PURCHASING PIRATES

     Steelers VP Arthur Rooney Jr. confirmed yesterday that the
Rooney family is interested in purchasing the Pirates. Rooney:
"It's sort of preliminary right now.  We're gathering
information.  We haven't got to the point where anything exciting
is happening."  Steelers president Dan Rooney "has made it clear"
in the past that the Steelers interests would not be served if
they became the only tenant at the "debt-laden" Three Rivers
Stadium.  That would happen if the Steelers were to move out of
Pittsburgh or if another stadium were built.  Pittsburgh Mayor
Tom Murphy has scheduled a press conference today to update the
city's efforts to sell the franchise and maintain local ownership
(Steve Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/16).  CNN's Nick
Charles:  "Apparently baseball's queasy status hasn't scared off
many.  Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy said he will trim the list of
finalist looking to buy the Pirates to six tommorrow" ("Sports
Tonight," 9/15).  ESPN's Gary Miller: "The Rooney interest is
said to be a last ditch effort to keep the in Pittsburgh before a
local buyer steps forward" ("SportsCenter," 9/15).
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