SBD/12/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • A LOOK AT THE END OF THE CISL SEASON

         After finishing the '94 season with a sell-out crowd for
    Game 3 of the League's championship series, the CISL announced
    its happiness with their progress as a league.
         ATTENDANCE:  More than 1M fans attended CISL games during
    the '94 regular season for an average of 5,203 fans per game.
    The CISL had 12 crowds of more than 10,000, a 600% increase over
    the '93 season.  The Detroit Neon led the way, averaging 9,379 a
    game.
         EXPANSION:  The CISL feels they established a national
    presence with the addition of teams in markets such as Charlotte,
    Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, San Jose and Washington,
    DC.  Seattle and Mexico City are expected to join the league next
    year.
         NHL/NBA AFFILIATIONS:  The league continued to add to its
    ownership with the addition of the following NBA and NHL partners
    during the past year:  Pistons, Penguins, Sharks, Supersonics,
    Bullets and Capitals.
         SPONSORSHIP MONEY:  The Detroit Neon, besides leading the
    league in attendance, also led in corporate sponsorships with
    nearly $1M generated.  Chrysler was the team's title sponsor,
    providing the nickname "Neon" (THE DAILY).
    

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  • CENTRAL HOCKEY LEAGUE FOUNDER FINDS KEY TO SUCCESS

         Central Hockey League founder and president Ray Miron
    attributes the success of his "very minor league outfit" to the
    fact that there are no local team owners.   The league owns all
    seven CHL teams and, at $7-10 a ticket, keeps all gate revenues
    allowing the arenas to keep nearly all concession revenues.  Last
    year, The CHL netted more than $1M off of revenues of $10.6M,
    drawing an average attendance of 5,900/game.  Miron claims that
    several investors have approached him and have offered him more
    than $1M for a new CHL franchise, but Miron has declined such
    offers because he firmly believes that new owners will drive up
    salaries and drive down profits: "It's more profitable this way.
    And it's a lot fewer headaches" (Lee Sullivan, FORBES, 10/24).
    

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  • FORBES PROFILES CFL'S IMPROVED MANAGEMENT

         FORBES examines the "supply and demand" potential of the
    CFL.  After losing money, Commissioner Larry Smith decided to
    "improve management."  He recruited new owners for five teams,
    imposed a salary cap of $2M per team and brought "smart
    management and smart marketing" to the league.  While further
    U.S. expansion (10 or 12 U.S. teams by '97) is planned, Smith
    won't move into "cities that have an NFL team, games are mostly
    played on Friday nights to avoid college and NFL schedules, and
    the season begins and ends two months before the NFL's."  Smith
    has doubled entry fees from $3M to $6M (Randall Lane, FORBES,
    10/24 issue).
         BALTIMORE NAME GAME:  Baltimore's CFL owner Jim Speros "has
    initiated talks with the NFL aimed a producing an out-of-court
    settlement" over the Colts name.  Speros does not want an
    expensive trial against the NFL and did acknowledge a settlement
    "may leave his team unable to use the cherished Colts name" (Jon
    Morgan, BALTIMORE SUN, 10/12).
    

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  • HOCKEY PUTS '94-95 SEASON ON ICE: NO CBA, NO PLAY

         NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "indefinitely delayed the
    start of the season ... calling the last proposal by the players
    union 'a step backward' and questioning its good faith."  NHLPA
    Exec Dir Bob Goodenow "contended that Bettman's interpretation
    'just highlights our differences,' adding, 'It looks awfully
    difficult for us to be making progress in the near future.  We've
    always told the players that this could be a long situation.
    Long could be months or a year" (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES,
    10/12).
         FROM BETTMAN:  "Until the union is willing to address our
    needs, and come back to us with a system that is sensible and
    allows us to grow, there seems to be little common ground" (THE
    DAILY).
         FROM GOODENOW:  "Until the owners appreciate that the
    players are completely opposed to the NHL's take-away demands, we
    will have little to discuss" (THE DAILY).
         WHAT NOW?  In Tampa, Roy Cummings writes that neither side
    has made its best offer.  One league source "admitted as much
    Tuesday when he said the NHL eventually could drop its 122
    percent tax proposal to around 50 percent" (TAMPA TRIBUNE,
    10/12).  But NHLPA President Mike Gartner says:  "We've got
    nothing more to bring to the table" (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN,
    10/12).  Bettman:  "Mike Gartner said to me yesterday that he
    knows their last offer didn't address our needs.  There still a
    way to go in this process" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/11).
    ESPN's Al Morganti: "Not only was there unanimity in that board
    meeting today, but I talked to several owners who are convinced
    the NHL has already gone too far in what they offered the
    players" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/11).  That leaves open the
    possibility the league "could withdraw the proposal or alter it
    in a direction away from the union's proposal" (Murray Chass,
    N.Y. TIMES, 10/12).  TORONTO SUN's Al Strachan raises the idea
    that limits on arbitration and a rookie salary cap may be the
    owners' "hidden agenda," an idea echoed by Toronto GLOBE & MAIL's
    David Shoalts.
         EYES ON THE "I":  Goodenow said the IHL and other leagues
    "may very well be an option" for players locked-out of the NHL.
    "And we will now look at those issues as they arise."  Bettman
    addressed the notion of players jumping leagues:  "If players are
    prepared to play for $1,000 a game in the IHL and risk their
    careers in injury, I'm not sure why they don't want to come to
    play in the NHL under a system that makes sense and treats them
    fairly" (THE DAILY).  IHL Chicago Wolves President & GM Grant
    Mulvey:  "I don't know what they're doing and I don't think as of
    right now they even know what they're going to do."  Mulvey held
    open the option of signing some NHLers (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/12).
         OTHER MINOR ALTERNATIVES:  AHL President of Hockey
    Operations Gordie Anziano noted the AHL is a developmental league
    for the NHL:  "So if players under contracts to NHL teams wanted
    to come sign a contract with an AHL club, I don't think that we'd
    do that" (ST. PETE TIMES, 10/12).
         TV REAX:  ESPN's Jimmy Roberts: "The national pastime of a
    North American country's national sport grinds to a halt.  Sound
    familiar?" ("SportsCenter," 10/11).  CNN's Mark Morgan compared
    hockey to baseball: "No common ground, no talks are scheduled,
    and -- unfortunately for hockey fans across North America -- the
    end appears to be no where in sight" ("Sports Tonight," 10/11).
    ESPN's Al Morganti: "Very seriously, we're looking at if not a
    40-game season, no season" ("SportsCenter," 10/11).
    

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  • REACTIONS FROM 13 NHL MARKETS

         ANAHEIM:  Mighty Ducks President Tony Tavares:  "We have a
    very, very high incentive to play this season.  But that
    incentive is a short-term incentive versus a need for systemic
    change."  Ducks Player Rep Bob Corkum:  "We just want a solid
    marketplace to shop our skills" (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES,
    10/12).
         BOSTON:  Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden, at the press
    conference:  "The progress has been meaningless and fruitless"
    (THE DAILY).
         EDMONTON:  Oilers President & GM Glen Sather: "What you have
    today is not a partnership.  It's being dominated by one side and
    the other side isn't having enough to survive on" ("Sports
    Tonight," CNN, 10/11).  In Toronto, Al Strachan writes if Sather
    were commissioner, the NHL "wouldn't be in the mess it's in
    today" (TORONTO SUN, 10/12).
         MIAMI:  Panthers Player Rep John Vanbiesbrouk:  "We know
    whatever [Bettman] says about us is not true because he does not
    speak for us.  He speaks for his interpretations of us which
    comes from his lack of respect for the players and that he thinks
    we're stupid."  Panthers President Bill Torrey:  "The 30%
    increases every year have got to come to a stop, unless the
    players feel our fans should have to spend $40 or $50 a game"
    (David Neal, MIAMI HERALD, 10/12).
         NEW YORK:  Joe LaPointe writes, "Surely a commissioner as
    smart as Gary Bettman had to know that no union would capitulate
    to his demands.  Certainly the owners who employed him had to
    know had to know that this agenda was a collision course in a
    game of chicken that is dangerous from both sides.  His efforts
    amount to simple union-busting, strength against strength" (N.Y.
    TIMES, 10/12).  Rangers President & GM Neil Smith: "I'm hoping
    there will be hockey at the end of October, but it certainly
    doesn't look good today" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/11).
         OTTAWA:  Roy MacGregor writes that the owners came off as "a
    bunch of thugs, grumpy old men in suits who gathered   -- in a
    setting not unlike a Politburo -- to shift the blame and squeeze
    a little harder. ... The players came off as, well, naive"
    (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/12).
         PHILADELPHIA:  Flyers Owner Ed Snider:  "We're ready to stay
    out the entire season.  We're fighting for the survival of the
    [NHL]" (Gary Miles, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/12).
         SAN JOSE:  The "uncertainty" surrounding the NHL season is
    causing city officials and civic leaders to fear that the All-
    Star Game might be lost.  San Jose Sports Authority Exec Dir Dean
    Munro:  "Everyone still has their fingers crossed that it will
    still be played.  But if it isn't, our hope is that we'd have the
    next available year."  The San Jose Convention and Visitor's
    Bureau conservatively expects a $1.3M boost from the All-Star
    game.  Boston hosts the '96 game (Scott Herhold, SAN JOSE MERCURY
    NEWS, 10/12).
         ST. LOUIS:  "It should have been a glorious day in Blues
    history.  They were to have played their first game in their
    spiffy new home, the $135 million Kiel Center.  Instead, Tuesday
    will go down as a dark day, not only in franchise history but
    also in National Hockey League history" (Dave Luecking, ST. LOUIS
    POST-DISPATCH, 10/12).
         TAMPA BAY:  Lightning Governor David LeFevre, noting the
    NHLPA's proposal would have a top tax of $3 million:  "That's one
    player.  Do you think $3 million is going to deter a Stanley Cup
    contender from signing a player?  It's not a big deal."
    Lightning Player Rep Brian Bradley:  "I read our proposal for an
    hour last night and I think it was very fair" (Cammy Clark, ST.
    PETE TIMES, 10/12).
         TORONTO:  Mike Gartner:  "Maybe we're getting close to a
    situation like baseball" (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 10/12).  Bob
    McKenzie reports that, according to those at the Board of
    Governors meeting, Bettman asked the following:  "Are there any
    teams that can't make it through a season with no games? ... Are
    there any teams not willing to go through a season with no
    games?"  McKenzie:  "The silence spoke volumes."  One NHL owner:
    "We are in this for the long haul" (TORONTO STAR, 10/12).  Maple
    Leaf President Cliff Fletcher:  "It is not inconceivable that
    there could be no hockey played this year" (TORONTO STAR, 10/12).
         VANCOUVER:  Jim Taylor writes that Bettman's hard-line was
    his way of "pouring water over the player's association dam to
    see if there were any cracks."  According to one source "highly
    placed" in TV marketing for the NHL:  "The league is convinced
    that the association isn't as unified as it likes to let on, that
    if Goodenow can't get a deal, some of the higher-profile players
    will put the pressure on and either force a deal or lead a
    revolt.  So Bettman will delay the opening to give the unrest
    time to work" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/12).  Canucks Player Rep
    Trevor Linden:  "We are prepared for the long haul and we are
    prepared for the worst" (Ellliott Pap, VANCOUVER SUN, 10/12).
         WASHINGTON:  Capitals/Bullets Owner Abe Pollin:  "We can
    never stop the overspending on our own.  In the NBA, we offered
    the players 53 percent of our profits.  The average salary then
    was $250,000.  Now it's $1.6 million.  How have the players
    suffered?  They haven't, and the owners have done well" (Sandra
    McKee, Baltimore SUN, 10/12).  NHLPA VP Kelly Miller:  "They want
    it all. ... It's just a huge money grab on their part" (Dave Fay,
    WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/12).
    

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