SBD/8/Franchises

TEXAS TWO-STEP: STARS' HICKS ROUNDS-UP RANGERS FOR $250M

          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).

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