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PIRATES MIGHT WAIT FOR A BETTER OFFER; RIGAS' BID UNLIKELY

     The owners of the Pirates are "laying plans for possibly
keeping the team for another season" instead of accepting a
$85.15M offer from cable-magnate John Rigas, according to this
morning's PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.  The ten partners that own the
club reportedly will meet before today's season opener to discuss
their options.  Steve Halvonik & Steve Massey write that for the
current owners, "a leading possibility is keeping the team and
seeking about $7 million in lease concessions from the city."
The group is not scheduled to vote on Rigas' offer.  Rigas, the
top choice of Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy to buy the team, has
refused to increase his offer, and "it appears increasingly
unlikely" that he "will ever get the team."  Halvonik & Massey
report that the Pirates ownwership team hopes the team's value
will increase with a new labor agreement and a possible new
stadium.  If both should occur, "the Pirates' value could
appreciate to well over $100 million," and the owners could sell
the team "at what they believe is a fair profit."  A bid from
Orlando developer Norton Herrick is also expected to be
discussed, but PNC Bank Corp. Chair Thomas O'Brien, who
represents his company's interest in the team, says he believes
the team will stay in Pittsburgh and PNC "will do everything in
our power" to ensure that that is the case (PITTSBURGH POST-
GAZETTE, 4/26).
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Franchises, Pittsburgh Pirates

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