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PITTSBURGH WILL DEAL WITH RIGAS OVER SALE OF PIRATES
Published November 16, 1994
Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy announced that city reached an agreement with Adelphia Cable TV President John Rigas "on terms relative to the purchase" of the Pirates. Murphy said he would ask the city to formally submit Rigas' name to the team. Murphy: "We are excited about this because it means major league baseball will be in Pittsburgh for a long time to come." The city faced a deadline of January 29 to find a buyer to keep the team in Pittsburgh. Rigas will now have to negotiate the purchase of the team with the "10-member consortium of companies and individuals who own the Pirates," and then get it approved by MLB (Mark Hyman, Baltimore SUN, 11/16). Baseball owners "have frowned on additional television based companies from owning teams, twice rejecting the sale of the Rangers to broadcast interest." The price tag for the Pirates is estimated at $95-100M, with most going to pay off the team's current debt. The deal with the city includes a new stadium lease, and a promise of "good faith" by the city to build a "Forbes Field-like baseball-only stadium" (AP, 11/16). Former Orioles President Larry Lucchino, an "early favorite" to buy the Pirates, "put his bid on hold" and turned his full attention toward a deal for the Padres (Baltimore SUN, 11/16). Lucchino and Houston businessman John Moores are reportedly in the final stages to buy the Padres. Lucchino: "Because the exceptional San Diego baseball opportunity I have been offered is now nearing consummation, it's unreasonable, if not impossible for me to continue to participate in the Pirates process" (City of Pittsburgh).