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TOM HICKS TO BE TWO-SPORT OWNER WITH $250M DEAL FOR RANGERS
Published January 7, 1998
Stars Owner Tom Hicks is buying the MLB Rangers, paying what a source says is $250M for the team, the ballpark lease and surrounding property, according to Sullivan & Schnurman of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. The Rangers have scheduled a news conference today to announce the deal. A source familiar with the purchase said it includes the team's lease at The Ballpark; a 165,000-square-foot office building; a ballpark restaurant; more than 300 acres of nearby land; and the option to acquire additional acreage nearby. A source close to the team said that Tom Schieffer will remain as club president. Schieffer and Hicks did not return phone calls yesterday (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/7). In Dallas, a source told Gerry Fraley that Hicks will pay more than $230M for the team. An MLB source said that Hicks began the ownership approval process yesterday by visiting the league's office in N.Y. (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/7). TV TALK: Fraley adds that several MLB officials said Hicks "probably pursued the Rangers to provide valuable programming for LIN Television," since he could use the Stars and Rangers as the foundation for an RSN "that would include some games offered" on PPV (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/7). In Dallas, Barry Horn reports that with the Stars' TV deal with KDFI expiring next year, that team could move to KXTX, a Hicks-owned station (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/7). IMPACT ON ARENA: Some analysts said buying the Rangers "could hurt" Hicks' bid to get Dallas voters to approve a new arena for the Stars and Mavericks, while others said it "won't sway" the January 17 election, according to Lee & Gillman of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Some analysts added owning the Rangers "could strengthen" Hicks' hand "by giving him a tie to Arlington and a reason to move the Stars there if Dallas' arena vote fails" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/7). PRAISE: In Dallas, columnist Randy Galloway writes, "Hicks brings a dynamic new dimension combined with having quick success in the Stars' turnaround." Galloway adds that the Rangers' current ownership is selling in part because some of the minority investors want to cash in on their original investment. Among the group is TX Gov. George W. Bush, "who reportedly wanted out before he announced his intentions to run for President" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/7).