Bays face possible sale, move to D.C. $200,000 needed, Liparini says

November 16, 1991|By Bill Free

John Liparini, president and general manager of the Maryland Bays, said yesterday that the team's 1992 season in the American Professional Soccer League would be in jeopardy and the team might be sold to a Washington group unless he could find investors to put up $200,000 by Dec. 1.

According to Liparini, the Washington group would move thteam from Columbia to Washington, change its name, and play all its games at RFK Stadium.

Liparini said the Washington group has money invested isoccer in Italy and is eager to buy or invest in the Bays. He said the team would move to RFK Stadium even if the Washington group invested in the team along with Liparini and Bays owner John Koskinen.

If the $200,000 isn't raised and the Washington group backs outLiparini said, the Bays would sit out the 1992 season and prepare for 1993.

He said the $200,000 is needed to reach an operating budget o$1 million for next season, when the APSL becomes a major professional outdoor league.

Federation Internationale de Football Association, the world'soccer governing body, has mandated that the United States have a major outdoor league in place by next year to play host to the 1994 World Cup.

Liparini said that to qualify for the APSL next season, teammust have a full-time front-office staff of 10 people, a full-time coach and six full-time players. He said the APSL has eight teams counting the Bays that hope to compete in the 1992 season.

"The league is viable, we have UMBC Stadium, which meetspecifications, and now we need the proper financial investments," he said. "The Washington-based group has the money and the know-how to operate a soccer team. I'd say the chances are 50-50 that we can get the investors and keep the team in Columbia."

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