SBD/19/Franchises

CELTICS PARTNERSHIP REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN RED SOX

     The Boston Celtics Limited Partnership is interested in
buying the Red Sox, according to an report in Saturday's NEW YORK
TIMES.  The Red Sox have not been put on the market, but team CEO
John Harrington has said that the JRY Trust eventually plans to
sell the team.  Harrington has established no timetable.  Paul
Gaston, Chair of the Celtics Partnership, would not comment on a
possible Red Sox deal, but did acknowledge the Celtics are
looking for ways to invest into new businesses.  The partnership,
which trades on the NYSE, has "been building assets, taking $85
million in loans from Shawmut Bank against the impending sale of
its television station, and putting those funds into short-term
investments to keep them liquid."  The partnership finished the
quarter ending September 30 with assets of $206M, and "is flush
with cash."  A source within the Celtics front office said the
"discussions about approaching the Red Sox are serious, including
finding a prominent role for Harrington.  To make a deal happen,
the person said, Harrington would have to be involved."  Some in
the Celtics' front office "acknowledged" that a Sox-Celtics
partnership makes sense.  Stuart Layne, VP/Marketing for the
Celtics: "There would be great synergy in marketing the Celtics
and Red Sox jointly. ... These are two teams with tremendously
loyal audiences" (Glenn Rifkin, N.Y. TIMES, 12/17).
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