N.C. businessmen make bid to keep A-League's Dynamo '' Meeting with Macpherson threatens Maryland move

September 19, 1997|By Lowell E. Sunderland | Lowell E. Sunderland,SUN STAFF

The Carolina Dynamo's owner is to meet Monday night with businessmen in High Point, N.C., interested in keeping his A-League team there and blocking its proposed move to the Baltimore area next season.

Neil Macpherson, the Dynamo's sole owner, said late Wednesday night he had met with a group of 14 people who are trying to put together a proposal and would talk with them again on Monday.

A sound financial package might mean Macpherson would keep the five-year-old team, which plays in pro soccer's highest minor league, in North Carolina's "Triad" area -- Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem.

Macpherson said he felt obligated to listen to the last-minute effort from prospective investors who did not surface until after last week's reports that, because of no local interest, he had all but formally agreed to move the team.

Last week, he and the team's general manager met in Baltimore with five Columbia investors who have made him a formal offer that includes moving the team here.

"This is in no way a shot" at the Columbia group, Macpherson said. The group apparently learned of Monday's meeting from newspaper reporters late Wednesday. "It's on the up and up. Emotionally, it's a high for me to hear 14 individuals getting together to acknowledge what we've accomplished and done for the quality of life here.

"But it's a low, too, because I have feelings that this is too late, that there's not enough time between now and Sept. 28 for it to happen."

Sept. 28 is the date he and the Columbia group both said they expect to consummate their agreement. It's the same day the A-League's championship game will be played. The 20-12 Dynamo is one of the final four teams competing in the playoffs to make that game.

A. J. Ali, the Columbia businessman who heads the group trying to get the team moved here, said that after talking with Macpherson, also late Wednesday night: "I have every reason to believe we're going to move forward."

Pub Date: 9/19/97

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