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MLB OWNERS APPROVE LIMITED PUBLIC OWNERSHIP POLICY
Published September 19, 1997
MLB owners yesterday voted to approve public ownership of franchises, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore SUN. The decision "could have a significant long-range impact on the economic health of the industry" and owners "apparently view it now as another way to bring new money into the sport." MLB President & COO Paul Beeston: "It certainly is another option for financing. When you've got a new option available, it's going to be beneficial." Teams "will not be allowed to put the majority of their stock in the marketplace, and voting rights of public shares will be restricted" (Baltimore SUN, 9/19). In N.Y., Murray Chass: "No rush to the stock market is expected. ... To go public, a team would have to issue a prospectus and annual reports with financial disclosure that clubs have always been reluctant to provide" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19). NO BLUE JAYS VOTE: A vote on the sale of the Blue Jays was "pulled at the last minute from the agenda," according to Jim Byers of the TORONTO STAR. One source close to the meetings: "It was a shock. ... [I]t was suddenly taken off." Another source said Blue Jays-parent Interbrew SA "asked that the issue not be dealt with Wednesday." Byers adds that it "isn't clear if the action was requested for housekeeping reasons or something more serious, such as problems with the proposed purchase" (TORONTO STAR, 9/19).