SBD/26/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 26: PLANS FOR PLAYERS' GAME SET

         The NHLPA "isn't ready to create a league of its own.  But as
    the gamesmanship with the NHL over a collective bargaining
    agreement, the union is planning to stage some games."  The NHLPA
    is expected to announce as early as today two charity events to be
    played at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, on November 10 &
    12.  NHLPA Dir of Communications Steve McAllister:  "The plan is
    to use the top players in the league" (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD
    COURANT, 10/26).  The games will be broadcast in Canada on CTV.
    McAllister denied reports of plans for games in other cities.  But
    one source said, "There will be more players wanting to be a part
    of it than there are spots on the team.  If the stoppage drags on,
    there could be many more such games in various communities with
    charities benefitting considerably" (Frank Orr, TORONTO STAR,
    10/26).  "The union is hoping to have enough sponsors and
    television exposure to make the series viable" (Mark Everson, N.Y.
    POST, 10/26).  NHLPA Senior Dir of Business Affairs Ted Saskin
    said the planning of the games "has not detracted" from the
    union's negotiating effort (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/26).
    Copps Coliseum, which seats 17,500, hosted Canada Cup in '87 &
    '91.      U.S. VERSION:  Boston-based agent Neil Abbott is working
    on a series of 4-6 games to benefit charities in U.S. cities,
    including Chicago, Detroit and possibly Buffalo.  Abbott "is close
    to nailing down primary sponsorship by a major American
    corporation he did not wish to name."  Abbott:  "There are
    corporate people in America who have sponsorship money to spend
    and don't have hockey or baseball to spend it on. ... I was more
    ambitious, but I'm probably talking about only one game now."
    Games could be played at the Rosemont Horizon near Chicago or The
    Palace at Auburn Hills, MI (Stephen Harris, BOSTON HERALD, 10/26).
    Other possible U.S. sites: Target Center or the Met Center in MN
    (N.Y. POST, 10/26).
         GIVE 'EM HELL, HARRY:  Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden
    maintains that the "outlook is dark" for a settlement, despite the
    recent talks between NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec
    Dir Bob Goodenow.  And Sinden blames Goodenow:  "There's no hope
    as long as Bob Goodenow is involved. ... I don't like Goodenow
    personally.  I don't like his motives.  His motives are to get as
    much money for the players as possible, and if it has to be at the
    expense of the game, so be it" (Nancy Marrapese, BOSTON GLOBE,
    10/26).
         FREE AGENCY:  One issue sure to be discussed when NHLPA Exec
    Dir Bob Goodenow meets with several agents tomorrow is that of
    Group-1 free agents.  "The current buzz in the hockey world is the
    NHLPA will offer to drop player equalization as compensation for
    Group-1 free agents (under 24, less than five pro-seasons)."
    Winnipeg-based agent Don Baizley describes it as "very
    significant."  Under the current deal, Group-1's can select
    equalization (players) or compensation (draft picks) as payment
    for their team.  If a Group-1 free agent selects equalization,
    "the team in question loses the player.  If they select
    compensation, the team retains the right to match any offer.  The
    move, in essence, would tie young players to their club for their
    first five pro seasons" (Ed Willes, WINNIPEG SUN, 10/26).
         NO JACKPOT:  The lockout is costing the Ontario Lottery Corp.
    $3 million a week in lost Pro Line sales, according to a report in
    today's TORONTO SUN.  If the dispute isn't settled, the OLC stands
    to lose more than $90M on regular-season NHL games (Jeff Harder,
    TORONTO SUN, 10/26).
         NEUTRAL SITE GAMES:  Target Center head Dana Warg reports
    that Bettman told him the league wanted to retain the neutral-site
    games scheduled for Minnesota, Phoenix and Cleveland (Sid Hartman,
    Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/25).  It has been widely believed
    that neutral-site games would be the primary victims of a
    shortened NHL schedule.
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
  • MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER START MIGHT WAIT A YEAR

         Major League Soccer (MLS), "perhaps the best, last hope" for
    pro soccer in the U.S., might be delayed until April '96.  U.S.
    Soccer Federation President and MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg said
    yesterday, "The later in the game it gets, the more you have to
    analyze whether to start in '95 or '96."  Rothenberg added a
    postponement is a "possibility.  Everything's a possibility."  MLS
    has had difficulty finding investors for the league, which
    "probably affected" MLS' efforts to start 12 teams.  The number of
    teams will reportedly be 10, with maybe only 5 of the original 7.
    Two NY sites have stadium problems and MLS officials are
    "scrambling to find an alternate site" in NY or NJ. Rothenberg
    said he is "circulating legal documents" for investors' signatures
    and hopes to announce them in the next two weeks (Brian Landman,
    ST. PETE TIMES, 10/26).  Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, Patriots owner
    Robert Kraft and VA billionaire John Kluge are possible investors
    (Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY, 10/26).
    

    Print | Tags: Kansas City Chiefs, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS, New England Patriots
  • NHL AND ITS OFFICIALS SQUARE OFF: A SECOND LABOR DISPUTE?

         NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman met yesterday with officials of
    the NHL Officials' Association and their representative, Don
    Meehan, to discuss whether the language on the collective
    bargaining agreement agreed upon by both sides last year is
    official.  In particular, the officials are threatening a lawsuit
    if the league stops paying refs and linesmen during the lockout.
    "The meeting dragged into the evening with no immediate word of
    progress, but it appears the dispute will not be resolved
    quickly."  The contract says the league is obligated to pay
    officials for 45 days from the beginning of a players' strike, but
    sources say the deal makes no mention of a lockout.  "However,
    Bettman is arguing that the new contract was never signed by
    either side, and thus the league is not under any obligation to
    pay."  One official:  "What we've done is sat here and kept our
    mouths shut and hoped things took care of themselves.  But now
    (the league) is just trying to use the language of the contract
    against us" (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/26).  Despite
    the pay controversy, Meehan emerged calling the meeting "very
    positive."  Meehan said the league will respond to the NHLOA's
    submission by 5pm EDT today (Steve Buffrey, TORONTO SUN, 10/26).
    Meehan's submission is thought to ask for an extension of the
    November 15 cut-off date for payment to the officials (Frank Orr,
    TORONTO STAR, 10/26).  CNN's Fred Hickman, on the officials'
    concerns:  "I guess they like to eat" ("Sports Tonight," CNN,
    10/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, Time Warner
  • ORLANDO EXPANSION ASKS TO CHANGE SCHEDULED PROPOSAL DATE

         MLB officials will hear expansion proposals on November 1
    from groups in Orlando, Tampa-St. Pete and Phoenix, and two groups
    from Northern VA.  Orlando expansion organizer Norton Herrick has
    asked to reschedule his 90-minute slot so his entire group can be
    present.  Herrick's partners, attorney Paul Jacobs and accountant
    Steve Kurtz, might be unable to attend because of involvement in a
    bankruptcy case involving initial Rockies investor Mickey Monus.
    Herrick has produced a $150M credit line to pay for the franchise,
    but relies on the experience of Jacobs and Kurtz, who were
    "instrumental in snaring" a team for Denver (Tracy & Lebowitz,
    ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/25).  After speaking with Red Sox Owner John
    Harrington, chair of MLB's Expansion Committee, Herrick said he
    thought the committee would be open to rescheduling.  But
    committee member George Steinbrenner disagreed.  Steinbrenner
    thinks "everybody should play by the same rules" and that Orlando
    would "benefit" from a delay.  Herrick said "it could really hurt"
    Rockies Owner Jerry McMorris if Jacobs and Kurtz have to leave the
    Monus trial, but that he will be there November 1 if necessary
    (Bill Fay, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/26).
         ROBBING PETER TO PAY VIRGINIA?  In Washington, Tom Boswell
    writes that the strike and Orioles Owner Peter Angelos' actions
    during the dispute could help Northern VA's bid for an expansion
    franchise.  Noting that Angelos has given "comfort to the union."
    Boswell cites one source "close to many owners":  "They control
    each other with threats of retaliation.  He (Angelos) will
    probably find out the hard way."  Boswell points out that growing
    controversy in Congress over baseball's anti-trust exemption could
    also prompt a Metro DC expansion team as a way to "smooth
    feathers" on Capitol Hill (WASHINGTON POST, 10/26).  Columnist
    Dick Heller suggests the two Northern VA groups merge to produce
    $1.15B "to wave" at the expansion committee (WASHINGTON TIMES,
    10/26).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • ROLLER HOCKEY EXPANSION FEES REPORTEDLY HIT $1 MILLION

         Nohl Rahn, one of the owners of the Artic Blast (MN's roller
    hockey team), said after returning from a Roller Hockey
    International league meeting, that the cost of franchise has
    increased from the $125,000 that the MN group paid to $1M now.
    Rahn on future expansion: "New York and Detroit could join the
    league next season.  Right now the roller-skating industry is
    selling more equipment than hockey" (Sid Hartman, Minneapolis STAR
    TRIBUNE, 10/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
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