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TEXAS TWO-STEP: STARS' HICKS ROUNDS-UP RANGERS FOR $250M
Published January 8, 1998
The MLB Rangers yesterday formally announced the sale of the team to Stars Owner Tom Hicks for $250M, the second- highest franchise fee in MLB history, according to Gerry Fraley of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. For $250M, Hicks gets the team, the lease "with an option to buy The Ballpark in Arlington, its center-field office building and restaurant, and options on 270 acres of undeveloped real estate in the area." Hicks said yesterday that he won't turn the Rangers into "wild spenders," and "he remains committed to a downtown Dallas arena for the Stars" (MORNING NEWS, 1/8). WHY THE DEAL: Rangers President Tom Schieffer, on the sale: "To get better, we had to get bigger. To get bigger, we had to get more revenue. Tom gives us access to capital that we haven't had before." Hicks expects to hold about 80% of the team, and he will keep the current management structure. Hicks added that the market "will determine how the land is used, if he picks up the option. He did not threaten to build an arena on the land should" the Dallas referendum on the facility fail next week (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/8). Hicks: "Reports of the size of my net worth have been greatly exaggerated" (Ken Daley, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/8). In Dallas, Slater & Oppel report that TX Gov. George W. Bush turned his original $600,000 investment in the team "into as much as $10 million" (MORNING NEWS, 1/8). ESPN's Gary Miller reported that the team itself consists of about $150M of the sale price ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/7).