SBD/21/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • AN OLD IDEA FROM TWO FAMILIAR NAMES

         Lawyer/promoter Donald Regan and Gary Davidson yesterday
    announced that they are "intensely interested" in establishing a
    new baseball league, to be stocked with baseball's striking
    players and to begin play next spring.  Regan and Davidson
    together founded the American Basketball Association, the World
    Hockey Association and the World Football League.  Regan: "Now is
    the time to do it because of the strike and the fact that there
    may not be a 1995 season.  The opportunities are mind-boggling."
    Regan dismissed speculation that a new league would be "hard-
    pressed" to find available stadiums.  Regan said that MLB owners
    would not be able to shut a rival league out of municipally owned
    facilities: "Municipally owned stadiums, by law, must operate on
    a competing-bid basis" (William Houston, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • FEHR TAKES THE PULSE OF THE UNION MEMBERSHIP

         Four dozen players met with MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr
    yesterday in Atlanta, the first of seven stops over the next two
    weeks.  Writes Mark Bradley, "The longer this lasts, the more
    strident the players sound.  That's an indication that the
    struggle hasn't gone the way they figured it would" (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 9/21).  The meeting was "mostly informational.  It
    was also medicinal."  Fehr:  "Nothing came up today we had not
    expected. ... We haven't heard of any players suffering greatly
    financially.  That doesn't mean there aren't any, but we haven't
    heard it from them.  Today, we had a lot of questions about what
    if this, what if that, which we answered as best we could"
    (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 9/21).  Fehr is in Tampa today.  Joe
    Henderson previews his arrival:  "He has never caved in before.
    That's worth remembering as winter approaches and we start to
    wonder if spring will ever come" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • SPECULATION ON NHL LOCKOUT CONTINUES AS TWO SIDES MEET

         NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
    Goodenow met yesterday for seven hours in New York, but were
    unable to reach a compromise on a new Collective Bargaining
    Agreement.  Following the discussions, Bettman said talks would
    continue today: "We're not ready to announce a deal by any
    stretch of the imagination" (Bob McKenzie, TORONTO STAR, 9/21).
    Bettman added: "I don't think there's a proposal that I would yet
    take back to the clubs" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 9/20).  Goodenow
    described the talks as "constructive," but he remained
    "cautious": "Some serious philosophical differences have to be
    resolved if we're going to have a deal" (David Shoalts, Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL, 9/21).  In this morning's papers, participants and
    observers share differing viewpoints on the prospect of a
    lockout:
         LOOKS GOOD: Shoalts writes that following yesterday's
    negotiations "there was a sense of hope a new collective
    agreement is not far away."  He adds that many "feel there is
    enough common ground for optimism" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/21).  NHLPA
    President Mike Gartner: "We may not be on the same page, but
    we're in the same book" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/21).  Sharks Operations
    Dir Dean Lombardi:  "Something will get done when each side has a
    gun at the other's head" (Ann Killion, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
    9/21).
         LOOKS BAD:  Bob McKenzie writes: "Be careful, the light at
    the end of the tunnel that some may have seen ... is more likely
    a train than a ray of hope."  He adds, "If anybody thinks the nut
    has been cracked on this baby, it's not even close" (TORONTO
    STAR, 9/21).  One NHL official close to the talks: "The season
    won't start on the first of October -- that you can put money on"
    (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/21).  Al Strachan writes, "Don't
    be misled.  There is still much talking to do" (TORONTO SUN,
    9/21).
         AND FINALLY ... In Canada's FINANCIAL POST, Jamie Wayne
    writes, "The NHL has about as much chance of shutting down next
    month as Bruce McNall does of becoming a financial consultant for
    the Bank of America" (FINANCIAL POST, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Bank of America, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, San Jose Sharks, Time Warner
  • STUDY SAYS MONTREAL LOST MORE THAN A SHOT AT THE PENNANT

         According to a study prepared for Expos President and Owner
    Claude Brochu the losses to the Montreal economy due to the
    cancellation of the season "are significant."  The study,
    conducted by Ernst & Young, says the loss to the local economy
    and to all levels of government will amount to at least C$66M.
    Factoring in Montreal's possible participation in post-season
    play, the loss rises to C$113M -- including C$23.5M in lost tax
    revenue to the province of Quebec and C$21.5M to the Canadian
    government.  While MONTREAL GAZETTE's Peter Hadekel writes that
    estimates of economic spin-offs from sports "are often suspect,"
    he calls the Expos "a bit of a special case.  They draw 60
    percent of their revenue base from U.S. sources, including money
    from network television, licensing and their share of gate
    revenues on the road.  Take that stimulus out of the Quebec
    economy and it would be difficult to replace" (MONTREAL GAZETTE,
    9/21).
         ST. LOUIS BLUES:  "Factories were hiring, but baseball-
    dependant businesses were firing and so the unemployment rate
    didn't budge in St. Louis in August."  State labor analyst
    Randall Clark attributed many of the 1,500 restaurant and
    recreation job losses in the area to the strike (Jim Gallagher,
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/21).
         BAY AREA REPORT:  While sales and marketing execs at the
    Giants and A's "say they are huddling on strategies to come from
    behind in the public-opinion series," they will probably wait for
    a settlement, just like the fans.  A's Exec VP Andy Dolich:  "We
    have lots of thoughts, but we haven't come up with specifics. ...
    [In the end] what the baseball fan cares about is only two words
    ... 'play ball.'"  Giants Senior VP of Business Operations Pat
    Gallagher:  "In terms of developing themes or gimmicks, we're
    certainly not going to be cavalier about what's happened or
    downplay it.  I think we have to remind people about what they
    love about the game -- the simple pleasure of watching the game,
    of being a fan" (Louis Trager, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Blues
  • WILL AN ELECTION-YEAR CONGRESS LIFT THE EXEMPTION?

         The House Judiciary Committee holds hearings tomorrow on
    baseball's antitrust exemption.  A bill currently before the
    House would lift the exemption if the owners were to unilaterally
    impose a cap.  Harvard Law prof. Paul Weiler:  "This is an issue
    that's been in the Congress for 40 years, but I think it's a real
    possibility this time.  Especially if it looks like there's going
    to be no baseball next year, lifting the exemption could become a
    politically attractive move."  Former Commissioner Fay Vincent:
    "Basketball and football are doing just fine without an antitrust
    exemption.  It's convenient for baseball to have it.  I don't
    think it's critical" (Bill Falk, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 9/20).  In
    Washington, Shirley Povich writes there is "some prospect now
    [Congress] will get off its butt and take a swipe at the thing"
    (WASHINGTON POST, 9/21).
         COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION:  The most recent CNN/USA
    TODAY/GALLUP poll found 41% say they will be as interested in
    baseball if the MLB uses replacement players, with 23% more
    interested.  43% favor the owners' position, 27% back the
    players.  Overall, baseball has dropped as favorite sport from
    21% to 16% since August (USA TODAY, 9/21).  For another
    independent survey on baseball, see #24.
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Time Warner
  • WTA LOOKS TO REGAIN STABILITY AFTER TUMULTUOUS TIME

         In New York, Robin Finn recounts the turbulent times in
    women's tennis during and since the US Open.  Despite
    withstanding IMG's unsuccessful "takeover" of the WTA Tour, Finn
    points out all may not be well:  "Some WTC members believe IMG
    scared away a title sponsor that had been just a signature away
    from a deal, and IMG suspects there was never a deal to spoil."
    New WTA CEO Anne Person Worcester "did admit that IMG's pressure
    tactics provided the impetus for some speedy changes at the top,
    which also led to a revision of the bylaws ... and empowers the
    CEO to run the tour and implement policy on a daily basis."
    Worcester said she understands IMG's frustrations and plans to
    address format changes for '96, adding that keeping them "in the
    fold" is best for women's tennis (N.Y. TIMES, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: IMG, Leagues and Governing Bodies
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