SBD/17/Franchises

THE BUCS STOP WITH GLAZER

     Malcolm Glazer, the 66-year old Palm Beach financier,
reached agreement yesterday with the trustees of the Hugh
Culverhouse estate to buy the Buccaneers, according to this
morning's ST. PETERSBURG TIMES.  The Bucs and Glazer "refused to
disclose the price, but said it was the highest ever paid for a
sports franchise," surpassing the $185M paid last year of the
Eagles.  Because he made a "multi-tiered offer," the final
purchase price could reach $192M if a new stadium is built in
Tampa.  There was speculation that Glazer would move the
franchise, but he is committed contractually to keeping the team
in Tampa for a minimum of two years and said he has no intention
of leaving.  Glazer: "I sure as heck would rather own a team in
Tampa than I would in Baltimore. ... The Buc stops here.  Tampa
Bay is going to have this team forever as far as the Glazers are
concerned."  Steve Story, the spokesperson for the three-man
trust in charge of selling the team, said the Glazer bid won out
over higher offers because of Glazer's commitment to Tampa: "They
showed every intent of keeping the team in Tampa.  That's been
the trust's intent from Day One" (Mark Topkin, ST. PETERSBURG
TIMES, 1/17).  Jack Donlan, another member of the trust, told the
TAMPA TRIBUNE: "We had a lot of guys saying 'Yeah, we'll try to
keep it there' or 'We'll see what we can work out'."  The move
must be approved by NFL owners during their annual meetings in
March.  Glazer said a new stadium would have to be built, and
plans a series of meetings about stadium issues and "improving
the community's financial support for the franchise" (Henderson &
Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/17).
     REAX: Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who reportedly upped his
offer to $211M over the weekend, was "disappointed" and hoped the
deal would not be closed (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 1/17).
Angelos said of Glazer's offer: "It would be a mistake to spend
that kind of money to keep a team in Tampa" (Joel Poiley, TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 1/17).  Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner did not
comment on the sale, but his hopes of seeing the team stay in
Tampa appeared fulfilled.
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