SBD/12/Franchises

NEGOTIATIONS WITH SCHULMAN GROUP CONTINUE IN BUCS SALE

     Steve Story, spokesperson for the three-man trust in charge
of selling the team, said he is "optimistic" that the Bucs will
not move, and that the trust is "trying to structure the
transaction" to keep the team in town.  This comes as the trust
is considering three offers for the franchise from out-of-town
groups, "each with a connection to Baltimore" (Henderson &
Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/12).  Story said the trust was "trying
to encourage" that the team remain in Tampa, but warned that in a
deal of this magnitude "you lose some of that control."  Story
admitted he had "heard rumors" that a offer was forthcoming from
Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, although he admitted "it is
getting more difficult each day for anyone else to jump in."
Steinbrenner would not make a comment on an offer, only to say
"other people should not be talking for me" (Stroud & Testerman,
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/12).   Yesterday, the trust met with
Baltimore attorney Robert Schulman and Jacksonville attorney
Terry Moore, who represent a group with a reported $190M offer.
Speculation continues the trust will keep the team for a year,
although Story "hopes a deal is imminent" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore
SUN, 1/12).
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