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SuperSonics Owner May Buy Marlins

November 20, 1997

SEATTLE (AP) _ The family-owned Ackerley Group, which owns the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA, has entered preliminary discussions to buy the World Series Champion Florida Marlins, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said today.

The newspaper said sources indicate the group is exploring an opportunity to become a major partner with an investment group headed by club president Bob Smiley. The P-I said Ackerley is apparently one of 10 or 15 investors Smiley has targeted.

Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga put the club up for sale in June.

Barry Ackerley, who heads the family group, could not be reached for comment, but the newspaper said there are a number of reasons the investment would be good business for Ackerley.

The Ackerley Group runs AK Media, a leading billboard company in Florida. The P-I said the group could also increase its media holdings in television and-or radio in the Miami area once a deal with the Marlins is done.

In Seattle, Ackerley bought the Sonics’ flagship radio station KJR-AM after buying the team.

The Ackerley group operates the fifth-largest outdoor advertising company in the nation, the country’s largest airport-advertising company, six television stations, and a joint partnership to operate three Seattle radio stations.

Along with owning the Sonics, Ackerley’s sports and entertainment business, Full House, owns the Seattle SeaDogs, a professional indoor soccer team.

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