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HUIZENGA REJECTS LOCAL BID TO KEEP PANTHERS IN FLORIDA

     Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga rejected a $75M offer for the
team by an investment group led by personal injury attorney James
Shapiro, according to this morning's FT. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL.
Huizenga, who said the bid was $10M too low:  "We're always
looking to talk with anyone who makes a serious offer.  This was
not a serious offer."  Huizenga said the group did not have the
cash available and that they wanted 60 days to raise the bulk of
it.  Shapiro is the nephew of Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer.  Bucs
spokesperson Chip Namias said the Glazers had no role in the bid
for the Panthers.  The only other name released from Shapiro's
group was Hollywood attorney Fred Chikovsky, who defended their
finances but said Huizenga's decision not to make a counter-offer
ended their pursuit of the team.  Huizenga is seeking $85-90M
from a South FL buyer.  Huizenga has offered to make a $25M
donation to the construction of a local arena provided that
Broward County officials meet several conditions by February 1.
After that date, Huizenga is expected to entertain offers from
out-of-state buyers (David Nitkin, Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL,
1/4).
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Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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