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Volume 24 No. 158

Franchises

          The July 1 deadline for the A's to exercise a year-to-
     year lease option at the Oakland Coliseum "may be delayed
     while team owners try to work out a host of issues with
     Oakland and Alameda County officials," according to Hickey &
     Counts of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  A's Owners Steve Schott and
     Ken Hofmann "want to negotiate a way to avoid offering the
     team up for sale at a discounted price -- as required in
     their lease -- and still take the short-term lease option." 
     Giving notice on July 1 will allow the team to play year-to-
     year through 2000, but it also "involves a gamble," for if
     they give notice, the Coliseum Authority "will have four
     months to find a buyer" that would keep the team in Oakland
     for a sale price of 90% of the team's market value.  Schott
     said that he and Hofmann have talked about putting the team
     up for sale "a lot lately, but no decision has been made
     yet."  City and county officials have met with the A's once
     to "resolve" the $48M claim the team has filed against both
     entities.  Oakland Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fuente said that
     pushing back the deadline "could buy time to reach a
     resolution" to the dispute (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 6/17).

          MLB Rangers President Tom Schieffer said yesterday that
     TX Gov. George W. Bush turned his $600,000 investment in the
     team into at least $15M, according to Slater & Oppel of the
     DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Bush was among a group of investors
     who bought the Rangers for $86M nine years ago.  For Bush,
     "whose name has been floated as a potential GOP presidential
     candidate in 2000," the Rangers deal "is by far the most
     lucrative investment" in his business career.  Bush paid
     $606,000 for about 1.8% of the team, but because he served
     as Managing General Partner, his stake rose to 12%. 
     Schieffer said that Bush received $14.9M from the sale and
     he could collect another $1-2M in final accounting.  Bush's
     profits are two-fold: he received $2.7M strictly for his
     partnership interest, and the agreement also called for
     Bush, as Managing General Partner, "to receive added
     compensation if the team were sold for anything above a
     modest profit" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/18).  

          VIKINGS: San Antonio business exec Red McCombs, on his
     interest in the Vikings: "Why I am I interested in
     Minnesota?  Because that's where the team is.  There aren't
     many teams, and this is one that's for sale, and this is one
     that I believe has great potential.  But I have absolutely
     no thought that the Vikings should be anywhere but
     Minnesota.  Do I see that they have some problems, some
     obstacles?  Yes.  Somehow, they are going to have to enter
     the era of new facilities" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/18).
     ...Former Vikings QB Tommy Kramer "would like to play a role
     in the Vikings organization" if his friend McCombs
     successfully bids for the team 1 (STAR TRIBUNE, 6/18)....In
     Minneapolis, Jerry Zgoda reports that members of the
     Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission "endorsed" T-
     Wolves Owner Glen Taylor as their pick to become the
     Vikings' next owner (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/18).
          NOTES: In Baltimore, last night's crowd of 48,269 was
     the largest for a regular-season game in Camden Yards
     history, and the 144,318 total for the Yankees-O's series
     was the best ever for a three-game series (SUN, 6/18).
     ...Pat Croce yesterday said he had reached a handshake deal 
     with 76ers Chair Ed Snider to return as team president
     (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/18)....The NHL Kings will unveil
     new uniforms Saturday.  One of the models is Patrick
     Warburton -- Puddy on NBC's "Seinfeld" (L.A. TIMES, 6/18).