SBD/19/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 69: TALKS RESUME TODAY

         Representatives of baseball's owners and players union meet
    this afternoon in Washington, DC, for the first time in 40 days,
    "this time, and for the first time, under the watchful eye of
    legendary mediator," William Usery.  Usery met with a group of
    owner reps yesterday and, before this afternoon's talks, he will
    meet with a group of players.  Those meetings have two purposes
    for Usery.  One, "is to get both sides comfortable with him"; and
    the second, "was to distill in his mind the most fundamental
    issues in the dispute" (Michael Bamberger, PHILA. INQUIRER,
    10/19).  "No one expects any dramatic development to emerge from
    the initial stage of the resumption of talks."  At the joint
    session, Usery is "expected to work out ground rules for future
    bargaining sessions."  Two matters to be decided are the site for
    meetings and the "availability of the principals to the news
    media" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/19).  "There are rumblings
    these days -- especially among agents involved in the talks as
    intermediaries -- that the sides may be more receptive to a
    settlement now than they have been, and that a deal perhaps could
    be struck within the next month or so without the owners
    unilaterally imposing a salary-cap" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,
    10/19).
         PLAYERS' LEAGUE:  ESPN's Keith Olbermann reported that agent
    Dick Moss was to hold a news conference today about the new
    league he hopes to start.  But it was postponed.  Olbermann
    quipped:  "This just in, the new league has just gone on strike"
    ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/18).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Walt Disney
  • CHAMPIONS OVER-35 TOUR SHOWING SIGNS OF SUCCESS

         In Washington, Josh Young profiles the Champions Tennis
    Tour: "Some tennis followers questioned the wisdom of a all-out,
    over-35 seniors tour when Jimmy Connors and Ray Benton, a former
    ProServ partner, started the Champions Tour last year."  There
    are at least 10 tournaments scheduled for '95, up from three in
    '93, and the tour "has its name on some expensive items from
    fashion designer Nicole Miller."  Miller created 200 ties and
    scarfs for the Champions Tour to sell for its charity of choice,
    the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.  Miller has designed fashions for
    the U.S. Tennis Open, ABC's "Monday Night Football," Major League
    Baseball, Harley Davidson and Jose Cuervo.  Young notes, "As for
    the Champions Tour, it's mostly about service to the sponsors.
    Almost as important as playing hard on the tennis court is
    chatting up a CEO at a cocktail party."  In fact, Citibank
    sponsored a recent stop in Westchester, NY, "mainly to entertain
    corporate clients" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/19).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Walt Disney
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 19: MORE MESSAGE MANAGEMENT

         NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, two NHL VPs and Devils Owner
    John McMullen held a luncheon interview with reporters from the
    NEW YORK TIMES.  Bettman promised an announcement soon on
    potential game cancellation and addressed the current state of
    negotiations.  Bettman said 40-50 games were necessary for a
    season to be considered legitimate, but that the warm weather's
    effect on some rinks would prevent games after June.  On the
    stall in negotiations, Bettman said he thought the players "might
    be waiting to see 'if maybe the owners are going to blink.'"  In
    defending the owners' proposal, McMullen compared teams owned by
    individuals to those owned by corporations (namely the Blues and
    Rangers):  "If you have no money of your own invested in it, and
    your job depends on your ability to put a winning team out there,
    as long as your boss doesn't cut you off, you just keep spending"
    (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 10/19).
         TOUGH TIMES?  In Toronto, Bob McKenzie reports that
    unhappiness with the Times' coverage was the reason for the
    meeting:  "Seems the league hasn't been impressed by the tone of
    coverage by Times reporters and columnists during the owners'
    lockout" (TORONTO STAR, 10/19).
         REFUNDS:  The NHL planned to announce its ticket-refund
    policy around November 1, but that has been pushed up -- "perhaps
    today" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/19).  The NHL clubs
    have received the first draft of a proposed policy with an
    announcement expected after suggestions return from the teams.
    Single-game purchasers are likely to be offered the option of a
    refund or credit; season-ticket holders would receive refunds on
    a monthly basis on games that have been officially canceled.
    Clubs could also offer season-ticket holders credit toward the
    '95 playoffs or the '94-95 season (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver
    PROVINCE, 10/19).  At an average of 10,000 season tickets per
    team (estimated at $30 each), and a going rate of 3.2%, Dave
    Luecking computes that NHL owners have earned $519,715 in
    interest to date on season-ticket revenue (ST. LOUIS POST-
    DISPATCH, 10/19).
         LOOK WHO'S NOT TALKING:  Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
    Goodenow "cannot even decide who will call whom" (WASHINGTON
    POST, 10/19).  NHLPA spokesperson Steve McAllister:  "There's
    nothing scheduled.  Bob is here and we're waiting to hear
    something" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/19).
         ALL EARS:  The Whalers held a fan forum with about 350
    season-ticket holders and corporate backers. Whalers Owner Peter
    Karmanos:  "I would be happy to return a quarter of the season
    ticket money, with interest, and maybe the players will start to
    believe we're really serious about it" (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD
    COURANT, 10/19).  The Sharks plan a similar session today (SAN
    JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/19).
         THE BOB & BURKE SHOW:  NHL Senior VP & Dir of Hockey
    Operations Brian Burke took his tour of NHL cities to Southern
    California, while NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow "returned fire"
    from Burke's Monday Vancouver stop.  Goodenow refutes the claim
    that the NHL wants to help small-market teams:  "They want to
    control expenses and they want the players to take the brunt of
    it" (Jack Keating, Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/19).  Burke, on the
    lull:  "If this goes on to a serious length it will start to look
    silly.  Our phone numbers work too, you know.  Nobody on their
    side has a broken finger" (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 10/19).
         SOMETHING BRUIN' IN BOSTON?  Bruins President & GM Harry
    Sinden sent a letter to his players this week explaining the
    league's position.  Bruins center Adam Oates:  "I'm not a lawyer,
    but it (owners' proposal) sounds good on paper" (Dave Fuller,
    TORONTO SUN, 10/19).  But Bruins defenseman Don Sweeney takes
    issue with the owners' promise of guaranteed salaries, arguing
    that while team levels may remain stable, players on the lower
    end of the salary scale will be hurt (Stephen Harris, BOSTON
    HERALD, 10/19).
         YAWN?  CNBC's Sue Herera:  "The hockey season is still
    delayed but Americans don't seem to care."  A CNBC/Opinion
    Research Corporation poll of 1,000 adult fans found:  78% do not
    care that the NHL season has not started; 83% do not care if NHL
    season is cancelled completely; 81% believe pro athletes are
    overpaid; 61% say there should be a salary cap in the NHL
    ("Market Wrap," CNBC, 10/18).
         NEXT BEST THING?  Attendance is up for the Ontario Hockey
    League -- one of Canada's three major junior hockey leagues -- at
    a rate of 557 more fans per game.  The boost  is attributed to
    the NHL lockout and the absence of post-season Blue Jays "hoopla"
    for the first time in three years.  The OHL averaged 2,767/game
    in '93-94 (TORONTO SUN, 10/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, New Jersey Devils, NHL, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Blue Jays, YankeeNets
  • HOW 'BOUT THEM COWBOYS? OTHERS IN THE NFL AREN'T IMPRESSED

         In Washington, David Aldridge reports on Cowboys Owner Jerry
    Jones' efforts to change the NFL's marketing rules.  Jones wants
    teams to be able to keep more of the profits generated from the
    marketing of their individual team logos.  Last year, the Cowboys
    generated 28% of all revenues from NFL Properties.  Jones "wants
    what he says is an incentive-based structure."  For example, if
    the Cowboys logo pulls in 30% of all licensing money, Jones think
    the Cowboys should be allowed to keep money above the 1/28th cut
    they currently get.  But Jones "says he's not looking to take
    someone else's 1/28th for himself, only to be allowed to make
    bigger deals outside the current agreements that increase the
    size of the licensing pie."  Aldridge reports opposition to
    Jones' plan is "strong.  Real strong."  Browns owner Art Modell
    thinks Jones' ultimate goal is for a Cowboys TV Network "much
    like the deal Notre Dame has with NBC," but Aldridge notes that
    that "won't fly in the share-and-share alike NFL."  Modell:  "We
    are 28 fat-cat Republicans that sit around the league meetings
    and vote socialist" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBC, NFL
  • NBA PLAYERS UNION PRESIDENT WILLIAMS "CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC"

         In an interview with USA TODAY, NBPA President Buck Williams
    discussed lockout rumors: "We're waiting on a ruling on our
    appeal of the court decision that upheld the draft, salary cap
    and free agency. (Then) we'll have an insight into what direction
    we're headed.  Hopefully, when we do sit down we'll work out an
    agreement quickly."  On playing the season without a new CBA:
    "Historically, these things have taken more than a year, and
    we're only three or four months into this scenario, so there's no
    reason to be alarmed" (USA TODAY, 10/19).  But Pistons guard Joe
    Dumars is not so optimistic.  Dumars:  "I got a letter a few days
    ago laying out what hasn't been happening.  It made me think a
    strike might be a possibility.  Before, I thought we would get
    this worked out.  But the letter made me think it might get
    ridiculous" (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 10/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Pistons, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Palace Sports & Entertainment
  • WORLD CUP SHOWS A $60 MILLION SURPLUS

         Already an "enormous success" in terms of attendance and
    U.S. TV ratings, the '94 World Cup "formalized its financial
    success yesterday, when the U.S. organizers announced that the
    event will generate a surplus of more than $60 million."  The
    figure is "well above" what organizers had predicted.  The
    surplus funds will go to the U.S. Soccer Federation Foundation, a
    non-profit corporation set up to promote soccer in the U.S.
    However, the foundation will not give any money to the MLS, the
    proposed outdoor pro soccer league being led by World Cup
    Organizing Committee chief Alan Rothenberg.  In fact, the MLS
    owes the World Cup committee for a $5M loan (Steve Berkowitz,
    WASHINGTON POST, 10/19).  "In an era of declining sports
    marketing dollars and increasing costs of mounting international
    sporting events, the surplus is considered by some to be
    remarkable" (Julie Cart, L.A. TIMES, 10/19).
         BONUSES:  Peter Ueberroth, who chaired the World Cup's
    Compensation Committee, announced that all the full-time
    employees of World Cup would receive salary bonuses.  Rothenberg
    reportedly will receive a $3M bonus as well as another $4M as
    part of a deferred-compensation package for 'back pay due.'"  The
    board was not in complete agreement on the issue of Rothenberg's
    compensation (L.A. TIMES, 10/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Champ Car World Series, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS
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