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  • '98 FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS TO BE IN PHILADELPHIA

         Philadelphia beat out Boston and was awarded the 1998 U.S.
    Figure Staking Championships.  The event will be held one month
    before the Winter Games in Nagano, and will determine the US
    Olympic Figure Skating team.  The event will be held at the
    CoreStates Spectrum (Sally Pollack, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/9).
    Boston lost by only one vote, 20-19.  Larry Moulter, President of
    the New Boston Garden Corp., said two things worked against them:
    Providence has the event in '95, and Philadelphia's recent
    rejections by the USFSA (Kevin Paul Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/9).
         ALSO:  Minneapolis is the U.S.'s bid city for the '98 World
    Figure Skating Championships.  Nashville will be the site of the
    '97 U.S. Championships (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 61: ODDS AND ENDS

         READ THE FINE PRINT:  This morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports
    that "several lawyers for both sides predicted" MLB owners "will
    be unable to sell any major-league teams until there is a new
    collective bargaining agreement."  Agent Tom Reich:  "Anyone who
    buys a team until there's an agreement is a moron unless there's
    an indemnification."  Acting Commissioner Bud Selig doesn't think
    "any sales will be delayed."  Selig:  "Each deal will have to be
    worked out differently."  The Pirates, A's, and Padres are
    currently on the block (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/11).
         "OWNERS BENCH RAVITCH":  According to Bill Madden of the
    N.Y. DAILY NEWS, Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris  -- who "has always
    been classified as a moderate among owners" and "viewed as the
    one with the most experience in dealing with labor unions" -- may
    be the new point man for the owners when negotiations resume.
    Madden:  "One thing that has become clear in the two-month hiatus
    since the players walked:  Dick Ravitch is no longer batting
    cleanup for management" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/9/94).
         THE LEGAL LINE-UP:  In Sunday's NEW YORK TIMES, Murray Chass
    writes that MLB owners "face a legal wilderness of decisions that
    history says they will mess up."  For anyone who has lost track
    of the decisions that the owners must make, here's a run-down: do
    owners "impose their 45-day freeze on player transactions?"; if
    owners impose the freeze, "do they unilaterally suspend the
    provision in the expired basic agreement that provides for triple
    damages if clubs are caught colluding again?"; do owners "declare
    an impasse" in the negotiations for a new labor agreement?; if
    the owners declare an impasse, do they impose a salary cap?; if
    the owners decide to declare an impasse and implement the salary
    cap, "do they first make another proposal, changing the economics
    to conform to the revenues from the strike-shattered season?"; do
    owners appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling on last
    week's decision by the Florida State Supreme Court? (N.Y. TIMES,
    10/9).
         BACK TO THE BASICS:  In Sunday's DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
    Richard Alm provides a comprehensive review of the state of the
    industry.  "Baseball is resilient.  In its 125 years as a
    business, it has survived player revolts, rival leagues, the
    Black Sox scandal and the rise of the National Football League,
    National Basketball Association and other rivals for sports fans
    dollars.  Whether it can weather this latest crisis will depend
    on how successful the sport is in finding a way to put a good
    product on the market and win back its customers" (DALLAS MORNING
    NEWS, 10/9).
         MEANWHILE, IN ARLINGTON: The FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
    recently conducted a mail-in survey of 3,200 people who purchased
    seat bonds for the Rangers.  On a 16% response rate, the survey
    found that about 25% of respondents were very dissatisfied, 14%
    enough to not renew next year.  The other 11% "griped that they
    were renewing only because the felt locked into the tickets by
    their seat bonds."  80% of all respondents said they would renew
    season tickets -- "of those, 69 percent gave unqualified yeses."
    STAR-TELEGRAM Dir of Research Gary Kromer noted it wasn't a
    "scientific survey," but said:  "It's a good indicator of the
    depth of feeling among these particular fans" (STAR-TELEGRAM,
    10/9).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Colorado Rockies, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres
  • CFL UNION OFFICIAL SAYS STRIKE NOT AN OPTION

         CFL Players Association President Dan Ferrone says that even
    though the league's collective bargaining agreement expires June
    1, 1995 the "CFL could not afford a strike or lockout.  It would
    be too damaging."  Issues such as the "possible elimination of
    the Canadian-American ratio of players on each team and changes
    to the $2.5M spending cap must be settled," but Ferrone doesn't
    foresee a work stoppage (Jim Morris, CANADIAN PRESS, 10/8).
    

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  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 11: NHLPA'S "SUBSTANTIAL LEAP"

         The NHLPA offered its counterproposal to the owners
    yesterday claiming that it addresses the owners' concerns about
    revenue allocation.  The NHLPA's proposal:  Impose graduated tax
    rates on the player payrolls of the top 16 revenue clubs,
    increasing them to a maximum of 7%; Reduce the proposed tax on
    gate receipts from 5.5% to 3%; Guarantee a revenue pool of $20M
    from the above for small-market clubs (Mult., 10/11).  In New
    York, Murray Chass cites a source familiar with the players'
    proposal who says 55% of the revenue-sharing pool would come from
    payrolls and 45% from gate receipts (N.Y. TIMES, 10/11).  NHLPA
    VP Kelly Miller:  "If you would have asked me before if we would
    have accepted tax rates -- no way" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/11).
    NHLPA President Mike Gartner claims the proposal makes
    "significant strides in meeting the concerns that the league has
    stated to us" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/10).
         WILL THE OWNERS JUMP?  The players "have extended an olive
    branch to the owners," but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "is
    likely to respond with a weed whacker" (Lance Hornby, TORONTO
    SUN, 10/11).  For the NHLPA, "it was a substantial leap."  For
    example, the players' proposal would impose a tax on the Blues of
    between $1.7-2M, but the league plan would tax the Blues $7M.
    "The players, in other words, still aren't buying the idea that a
    payroll tax should be so onerous that it forces teams to axe
    salaries in order to avoid paying the tax" (Damien Cox, TORONTO
    STAR, 10/11).  CNN's Nick Charles: "It looks like the players did
    some significant bending" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/10).  ESPN's
    Al Morganti: "Boy, it's a long way philosophically from .... the
    luxury tax that the NHL had proposed.  However, it could give you
    some common ground" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/10).  The players'
    proposal "is certainly worth a look."  But the owners "want a
    punitive-enough tax to virtually guarantee salaries won't
    continue to rise.  It's the old cap vs. drag argument" (Bob
    McKenzie, TORONTO STAR, 10/11).
         WHAT TO EXPECT:  "Initial reaction to the NHLPA moves was
    pessimistic on the part of management" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON
    TIMES, 10/11).  Bettman said that players "would have to do more
    than jiggle the numbers of their previous offers.  And that seems
    to be what the players have done" (Gary Miles, PHILADELPHIA
    INQUIRER, 10/11).  NHL owners "aren't expected to look upon the
    offer with favourable eyes." CP's Alan Adams cites sources who
    say one of the last things Bettman told Goodenow when talks broke
    off last week "was not to come back with an offer to increase the
    tax on salaries and gate receipts" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/11).
    Bettman "did not seem overwhelmed" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON
    POST, 10/11).  Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden:  "You could
    say there is a sense of optimism simply because we did sit down
    and have a meeting" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/11).  One management
    source:  "At least they have recognized our problem and the need
    for a tax system" (NEWSDAY, 10/11).
         SAVE THE SEASON?  In Toronto, Bob McKenzie reports a few NHL
    Governors support a "longshot" plan to accept the players' no-
    strike pledge on one condition:  "no new player contracts can be
    signed between now and the end of the season" (TORONTO STAR,
    10/11).  The "most pertinent question" heading into today's NHL
    Governors meeting is whether Bettman will identify the players'
    proposal as "meaningful progress" (Sandra McKee, Baltimore SUN,
    10/11).  Bettman "has one out pitch:  He has never said that
    there will be no games without a signed deal" (Kevin Paul Dupont,
    BOSTON GLOBE, 10/11).  If the deal is rejected, Bettman is likely
    to shift the restart date to November 1 (Lance Hornby, TORONTO
    SUN, 10/11).  A rejection by the owners could endanger a "serious
    chunk" of the season, since the players "aren't likely to move
    much farther on their side" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/11).
    Whalers GM Jim Rutherford:  "In order to start on the 15th, the
    decision is going to have to be made (today)" (HARTFORD COURANT,
    10/11).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, St. Louis Blues, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • WEEKENDERS WEIGH NBA REALITY VS. STERN'S IMAGE-MAKING

         In Boston, Jackie MacMullan credits NBA Commissioner David
    Stern with a "public relations coup" for declaring he has no
    plans for a lockout:  "'Easy Dave' can't lose.  If the players
    strike, he'll 'aw shucks' his way into our living room every
    night, pleading for his players to return for the good of the
    game.  If they don't strike, he'll continue to hammer out what he
    wants privately, while publicly the game continue, the revenue
    keeps pouring in, and the NBA is held up again as the model in
    professional sports" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/9).  But one Western
    Conference owner says:  "There's a real good chance the NBA will
    be in the same situation as hockey."  Another owner:  "I don't
    see us opening the season without a deal."  Mitch Lawrence writes
    that the "problem" for Stern is that he has to deal with NBA Exec
    Dir Charles Grantham -- the "X factor, and a seemingly dangerous
    one at that." Lawrence adds, "Some people who have been around
    Grantham get the distinct impression that he wants to carve out
    his place in history, as the man who forced the NBA to change its
    system" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/9).  On ESPN's "Sports Reporters,"
    Mike Lupica noted the contracts going to NBA 1st round picks:
    "When these sorts of dollars and these sorts of figures begin to
    dominate the coverage of your sport, you better believe that your
    sport is headed towards trouble.  And I believe the [NBA] is. ...
    Stern's always very lucky.  There seems to be some crisis all the
    time in another sport, so he can look like a hero when he really
    is not" (ESPN, 10/9).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Walt Disney
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