SBD/6/Franchises

PIRATES WILL OPEN UP BIDDING; MCCLATCHY STILL WANTS BUCS

     Kevin McClatchy failed to give Pirates owners a $1M deposit
for exclusive negotiating rights by yesterday's deadline, thereby
opening the bidding process for the club.  Pirates ownership said
last night they would continue to negotiate with McClatchy but
have instructed their investment banker to begin talks with other
buyers who would keep the team in Pittsburgh.  A team official
told the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE there were "at least two new
buyers" who would agrre to that (Steve Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-
GAZETTE, 10/6).  The announcement comes just one day after
McClatchy's bid for the club was given preliminary approval by
MLB officials and "widely hailed" in Pittsburgh.  The move by the
team "could be a tactic to push the newspaper heir into
completing the deal" (AP/WASHINGTON POST, 10/6).  Although league
officials gave McClatchy the "green light" to continue his
efforts, the POST-GAZETTE's Halvonik reported yesterday that they
"expressed several concerns," including:  the $5M investment by
Liberty Sports' KBL; McClatchy's ability to cover future losses;
and the city's willingness to build a new stadium for the team.
McClatchy is in the process of "scrambling" to line up more
investors in an effort to raise closer to $50M in cash rather
than the $40M the team had suggested in order to satisfy the
league (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/5).
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