SBD/18/Franchises

ACKERLEY REPORTEDLY OUT AS INVESTOR IN THE MARLINS

          The Ackerley Group "will not invest in the Marlins
     because the Seattle-based company cannot have the control it
     wants," according to Antonio Fins of the Ft. Lauderdale SUN-
     SENTINEL.  The end of the negotiations with Ackerley "raises
     questions about how, or whether," Marlins President Don
     Smiley will be able to buy the team.  Ackerley CEO & Sonics
     Owner Barry Ackerley said in a statement that he ended
     negotiations because the "proposed deal was not consistent
     with the Ackerley Group's investment criteria of having a
     leading ownership position in all its investments and
     acquisitions."  Smiley had no comment (SUN-SENTINEL, 12/18).
          POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY: In FL, David O'Brien writes that
     Marlins Manager Jim Leyland has become "a more conspicuous
     proponent of a publicly supported baseball stadium than he
     was during the season."  Leyland: "For some reason, people
     act like [Marlins Owner] Wayne Huizenga should take South
     Florida out to dinner every night. ... People have this
     perception you're building [a stadium] for some $8 million
     or $10 million ballplayer.  That's absolutely not true. 
     You're building it for the area" (SUN-SENTINEL, 12/18).  

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