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PIRATE OFFICIAL SAYS PHONE LINES ARE OPEN TO OTHER BUYERS

     The slow progress in the sale of the team to Adelphia
Communications Corp. Chair John Rigas has led the Pirates to
search for other buyers, according to the PITTSBURGH POST-
GAZETTE.  A team official said the team is "working on other
alternatives," and during a conference call, at least two board
members said they believed the team could be sold for more than
the $85.15M offered by Rigas.  Jeff Moffie, a Cleveland
investment manager, said he has put in a bid that he "contends
was substantially higher" than Rigas. Moffie said he would leave
his bid on the table for only 24 hours, since he didn't want his
bid to be used to "pry a higher offer from Rigas."  During their
conference call, team owners discussed who would be responsible
for lawsuits "stemming from the players strike" and Rigas'
financial "health."  The owners want Rigas to accept the legal
risks and some questioned whether Rigas could afford to assume
the financial losses between now and the close of the potential
sale. Most of Rigas' family wealth is tied up in Adelphia stock,
which "has tumbled by more than 50% since March." The team faces
heavy losses due to the players strike, interest payments from
heavy debt, and a decrease in local TV revenue.  The team will
receive close to $3M from cable-TV partner KBL for the 75-games
the network will carry this year, down about $500,000 for last
year (Steve Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/7).
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