SBD/19/Franchises

RIGAS, PIRATES REACH PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT

     Cable TV exec John Rigas and the Pirates yesterday reached a
preliminary agreement for him to buy the team.  Rigas will
reportedly pay $25.15M in cash and assume $60M in debt for the
franchise.  He will also assume the $13M projected debt for '95,
plus a $20M city-backed loan to the team in '85.  Rigas:  "It is
a risky gamble, but one we think is worth taking to keep baseball
in Pittsburgh ... and to get a new stadium."  The agreement is
expected to be formalized within about four weeks, and then must
be approved by MLB owners (N.Y. POST/AP, 5/19)
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Franchises, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates

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