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Bosox Change Owners

In a record deal, the limited partners of the Boston Red Sox voted unanimously Thursday to sell the team to a group led by Florida Marlins owner John Henry and former San Diego Padres owner Tom Werner.

The deal for the fabled team includes Fenway Park and an 80 percent stake in New England Sports Network on cable television.

John Harrington, chief executive of the legendary baseball team, announced the $660 million. He said in a statement, "The price offered will break all major league records for a team."

The current record price for a baseball team is the $323 million that Larry Dolan paid for the Cleveland Indians last year. The record for a sports franchise is the $800 million Daniel Snyder paid in 1999 for the Washington Redskins and the team's stadium in Landover, Md.

In the days before the Boston deal was announced, published reports said the group was offering $650 million for the team and its assets.

The agreement must be approved by 75 percent of the 30 major league owners, who usually take about six months to consider sales.

Harrington is confident Werner and Henry, both close to commissioner Bud Selig, have the cash to close the deal, saying they were committed to the team and fans. They are "deeply involved and passionate about the game of baseball," Harrington said.

Werner is a television producer responsible for hits like "The Cosby Show" and "Third Rock from the Sun." As owner of the San Diego Padres, he made unpopular trades in the early 1990s, claiming they were necessary after the team lost $7 million in 1992.

Henry is a former commodities trader who bought the Florida Marlins from Wayne Huizenga in 1999 for $150 million. He has since sold his share of that team so he could compete in the bidding for the Red Sox.

Henry's purchase of the Red Sox means the Florida Marlins are available. Montreal owner Jeffrey Loria has reportedly been interested in surrendering his share of the Expos to purchase the Marlins.

Larry Lucchino, the former president of the Baltimore Orioles and Padres, is likely to become Red Sox team president if the sale is approved.

©MMI CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Reuters Limited contributed to this report

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