SBD/4/Franchises

MCCLATCHY STILL FACES HURDLES IN BUYING PIRATES

     While media heir Kevin McClatchy has received tentative
approval from MLB's ownership committee and the Pirates board of
directors to buy the team, NL President Len Coleman said
yesterday the sale "is no slam dunk."  Coleman told USA TODAY
that "financial stability" is the key and that he hopes to move
the sale forward, but he saw the Three Rivers Stadium lease with
the city and an unpaid $6M loan are two key issues holding up the
deal.  MLB would like to see more stadium lease concessions from
the city.  In addition, the team is saddled with a $6M unpaid
loan which originated with the Galbreath family, previous owners
of the team.  McClatchy said he is working on the loan, but "the
real question is how much of it has to be paid back."  Acting MLB
Commissioner Bud Selig was unsure if the sale would be voted on
at the next owners meetings (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY, 1/4).
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