среда, 19 сентября 2012 г.

Tisch Buys Half of NFL Giants; Sale of Super Bowl Champions Ends Family Feud - The Washington Post

Former postmaster general Robert Tisch agreed yesterday topurchase 50 percent of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants fromco-owner Tim Mara, ending Tisch's quest to own an NFL team and yearsof feuding between the club's primary owners.

Tisch, who has lived in the Washington area in recent years, wasinvolved with a group that had been leading the effort to bring anNFL expansion team to Baltimore. Before that, he was interested inpurchasing the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and PhiladelphiaEagles. 'If this didn't come along, I would still be involved withpursuing a franchise for Baltimore,' Tisch said yesterday, hoursafter the purchase was announced by the league. 'But thisopportunity came along and I stayed with it.'

Tisch said a 'confidentiality agreement,' presumably between himand the Mara family, prevented him from revealing the purchaseprice. The Giants are widely believed to be one of the most valuablefranchises in professional sports. The Cowboys, their stadium andfacilities, were sold to Jerry Jones two years ago for $150 million.A conservative estimate places the Giants worth at more than $150million..

The sale must be approved by 21 of the league's 28 owners, whoare scheduled to meet next in March.

Tisch bought the half-share of Helen Mara Nugent, her son Timand daughter Maura Mara Concannon. Tim, 53, who had been owner-vicepresident-treasurer, had been feuding for years with his uncle,Wellington Mara, the club president, who owns the other 50 percent.The infighting was well documented through the league and appears tobe a reason Tim and his mother and sister were interested in sellingtheir share. The team was originally purchased in 1925 by Tim'sgrandfather and Wellington's father - also named Tim.

Many league and club officials believed it would be a relief ifthe younger Tim Mara would sell his interest in the team. 'Well{Wellington} and I will get along fine,' Tisch said, adding that itwas about 10 weeks ago that he first heard of Tim's interest inselling his portion of the team.

Tisch is a longtime friend of former NFL commissioner PeteRozelle. Though he has not owned a team, he is not viewed by otherowners as an outsider, and is someone the other owners and topexecutives will eagerly welcome into the league, officially duringthe league's winter meetings in March in Hawaii.

Tisch, a 65-year-old billionaire, is president of Loews Corp., afinancial enterprise with assets exceeding $34 billion. Loews owns22.9 percent of the common stock of CBS Inc. CBS President LaurenceTisch is Robert's brother, which prompted some to ask about theleague's relationship with CBS television. The league issued astatement saying Tisch 'will acquire and hold his interest in thefootball Giants as an individual, not through a corporate entity.'Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stated the agreement also assures therewill be a 'total separation between the league's decision-making ontelevision matters and the operations of CBS with respect toarrangements for the telecasting of NFL games.'

Tisch met earlier in the day with the league's finance committeeat a regularly scheduled session to outline terms of the proposedtransaction. Later, he called Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer,'and other people in Baltimore. . . . They understood. The governoris such a hometown kind of person. He understood, me being from NewYork. . . . He couldn't have been nicer.'

Tisch said he is still a 'strong proponent' of Baltimore as anexpansion city and that there are several business and communityleaders in the area who can lead such a drive.

The day-to-day operation of the Giants doesn't figure to changebecause Vice President/General Manager George Young has run thefootball side since 1979.

Closer to the field, Coach Bill Parcells named Ray Handleyoffensive coordinator, Al Groh defensive coordinator and Ron Erhardtassistant head coach. The Giants also hired former Utah head coachJim Fassel to coach quarterbacks and Tampa Bay assistant Fred Bruneyto coach defensive backs. Parcells said he probably will haveanother announcement Friday on a receivers coach to replace TomCoughlin, who took the head coaching job at Boston College. Grohreplaces Bill Belichick, who was named head coach of Cleveland lastmonth.