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CHIEF WAHOO LANDS ON WALL STREET: TRIBE TO FLOAT IPO?
Published March 27, 1998
In a "historic move that could trigger a significant financial realignment" of MLB, the Indians "are expected to announce plans to make the ballclub a publicly traded company," according to Jones & Rogers of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. MLB owners last summer "approved the Indians' proposal" to issue two classes of stock, with Indians Owner Richard Jacobs maintaining control of voting interests. An announcement could come "within the next week or so." Jones & Rogers write that "the move may be a partial response to the increasing big corporate influence in baseball. ... This would be a remarkable departure in the operation of professional baseball, a very public game governed by the very private dealings of a select group." Rogers & Jones add that the Indians would be the "first free-standing team" in MLB to go public (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/27).