SBD/25/Franchises

MCCLATCHY BELIEVES HIS BID WILL KEEP PIRATES IN PITTSBURGH

     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).
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