Owner is dialing for dollars to keep Bays afloat

December 11, 1991|By Sandra McKee Gary Davidson contributed to this article.

Maryland Bays owner John Liparini is on the phone daily trying to keep his soccer team alive.

"I haven't given up, although I probably should," said Liparini, who, with co-owner John Koskinen, is trying to find investors to contribute $400,000. "I hope we're able to hold it together and play again in 1992. Every day someone comes up to me and offers to help with a thousand dollars. I thank them, but that's not the kind of investors I need. You have to be able to lose the money if things don't work out. What I hope is that I can find what we need and those people will use their money to buy season tickets."

Liparini confirmed that the Bays have not posted their $100,000 letter of credit -- a performance bond guarantee to finish the 1992 American Professional Soccer League season -- but have been given an extension to Dec. 31.

The Bays are not alone. The Seattle Storm, Albany Capitals and Fort Lauderdale Strikers also have not posted, but Liparini said all four teams are expected to pay the bond by the New Year's Eve deadline. Also, a Dallas group has made a formal application for membership and hopes to meet the same deadline.

The league champion San Francisco Bay Blackhawks, along with the Miami Freedom, Colorado Foxes, Tampa Bay Rowdies and New Jersey

Eagles, have posted their fees, and the league plans to play in the spring, even if none of the others comes through.

Liparini has been looking for new investors since August. He said he has commitments for $200,000, but it is a slow go on the remaining $200,000. He is talking to three groups: Two are interested in investing; one in buying the club.

"I hope to be able to put this together and play in 1992, but I'm not putting any percentage on it," he said.

For the past four years, Liparini has kept the Bays alive.

"Financially, it has been disappointing. But no one here is asking to make money."

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