SBD/15/Franchises

PIRATES OWNERS DELAY RIGAS' OFFER; WANT BIDS FROM VA GROUPS

     In an action delaying a vote on Adelphia Communications
Chair John Rigas' bid for the Pirates, Wertheim Schroeder, the
investment bank handling the sale of the franschie, is trying to
"pry offers" from both Northern VA groups interested in acquiring
the team.  One of those groups, Virginia Baseball led by William
Collins (favored to get expansion in the next round), wants to
move the team to the DC suburbs.  Homestead Baseball, led by
Robert Johnson and affiliated with Capital Baseball -- another
group seeking an  expansion team -- has said they would keep the
team in Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh City Councilmember Dan Cohen:
"It's outrageous and offensive to all Pittsburghers for the
owners to have any discussions at all with people who would move
the team out of Pittsburgh."  The Council has introduced a
resolution demanding that Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy "appoint
one or two council members to participate in all talks pertaining
to the sale."  Murphy selected Rigas as his choice to buy the
Pirates last November (Steve Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE,
3/15).
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Franchises, Pittsburgh Pirates

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