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BY GEORGE HE DOES IT! STEINBRENNER MAKES OFFER FOR BUCS
Published January 13, 1995
Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner stepped to the plate yesterday as he submitted an 11th hour offer to buy the Bucs. Steinbrenner, who offered a reported $170M-$180M for the team, said "he is the organizer of the group, but not the majority partner." NFL rules prohibits cross-ownership with other major pro sports teams, but Steinbrenner said, "We have handled that within our group so that is not going to be an issue." He refused to disclose any of his partners, although they are to believed to include former Chrysler Chair Lee Iacocca, Twins Owner Carl Pohlad, billionaire investor Lester Crown, and Steinbrenner's two sons. The Yankees owner would not disclose numbers, only saying: "I don't go into it unless I think it's right. It's the right price." Bucs trust spokesperson Steve Story called the bid "a competitive offer, but it's a different kind of offer." He said it would be considered along with the three other bids already on the table (Marc Topkin, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/13). On the "CBS Evening News" last night, Steinbrenner reiterated his hope to keep the team in Tampa: "To lose the pro football team would be devastating. Because it would be a stigma that would be attached to this community that we wouldn't lose quickly" (CBS, 1/12). The bid by the Steinbrenner group came as the trustees "apparently were nearly ready to accept" an estimated $192M offer from Palm Beach financier Malcolm Glazer. Steinbrenner, on whether his offer was competitive with Orioles Owner Peter Angelos: "I don't like to lose, whether it's to the Orioles or Peter, who is a worthy competitor." Local officials praised the bid, but Steinbrenner "shrugged off" suggestions he is Tampa's savior: "I'm not a white knight. I'm a gray-haired old man" (Henderson & Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/13).