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MCCLATCHY BELIEVES HIS BID WILL KEEP PIRATES IN PITTSBURGH
Published September 25, 1995
Newspaper heir Kevin McClatchy "presided over a media spectacle" in Pittsburgh Saturday, announcing that he beat a Friday deadline to put an ownership group together for the Pirates. The group includes H.J. Heinz Co. Chair Anthony O'Reilly. O'Reilly reportedly is chipping in a total of $5M to the group, with $1M of that his own money. Also in the group: Prime Sports' KBL, which is contributing $5M; the law firm of Reed Smith Shaw & McClay, which is giving $1M; $2.5M from both race car owner Chip Ganassi and Dolphins QB Dan Marino, and reported $3-$5M from Pittsburgh-area businessmen Dick Means and Bill Snyder. McClatchy and his partner, CFL Texans Owner Fred Anderson, have invested $10M. Pirate ownership will review the bid today, according to the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. McClatchy has also convinced several of the team's current owners to remain in his group, including Carnegie Mellon Univ. The POST-GAZETTE's Halvonik & Belko report, "With the $40 million and if five owners stay in, McClatchy could buy out the remaining owners for $12.5 million" -- leaving him with $27.5M in cash to operate the club, a number that "may be enough" to satisfy MLB owners (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/24). McClatchy: "There's been some uncertainty here in Pittsburgh as far as the baseball team. Are they going to be here? And I think we've answered that question. I think the city has answered that question with us. The Pirates are here. You can buy your season tickets for next year, and you can buy them for the year after" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 9/22). WHAT DID IT? The inclusion of O'Reilly to McClatchy's group gave them "a significant boon." Also, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter has been pressuring MLB's owners to reject any Pirates move if McClatchy's bid fails. Specter is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over baseball's antitrust exemption (MCCLATCHY NEWS, 9/23).