SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 27: NOT- SO-SECRET AGENTS MEETING

         NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow meets today with about 30-40
    player agents, a constituency from which "there have been
    grumbles and complaints emanating. ... His ability to cement
    their backing could be a key factor in maintaining player
    solidarity as the players begin to miss paycheques.  If the
    agents begin to bail, their clients won't be far behind" (Damien
    Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/27).  CANADIAN PRESS' Alan Adams describes
    the agents as split among the "hawks, doves and the nod-the-head
    gang" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/27).  Briefing the media and
    execs in FL, NHL Senior VP & Dir of Hockey Ops Brian Burke hoped
    for some progress from today's summit:  "The agents played a very
    significant role in settling the 1992 strike, and they could play
    a significant role again" (Roy Cummings, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/27).
         THE SOLIDARITY CUP:  Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille were the
    first two NHL stars to commit to the NHLPA's two-day "Four on
    Four Challenge" in Hamilton on November 11-12.  The round-robin
    event will feature four teams of NHL players -- from the U.S.,
    Ontario, Quebec and Western Canada.  For now, the only plans are
    to air the event in Canada, but NHLPA Dir of Communications Steve
    McAllister said the possibility of a U.S. broadcast is still
    being explored (Viv Bernstein, HARTFORD COURANT, 10/27).  Gabe
    Macaluso, CEO of Hamilton's Copps Coliseum, said the 17,500-seat
    arena will be sold out.  Macaluso:  "We haven't had anything like
    this since the final game of Canada-Russia in 1987" (Len
    Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/27).  Bruins President Harry
    Sinden:  "I hope they do play them.  Maybe then they'll
    understand how hard it is to stage a game" (BOSTON HERALD,
    10/27).
         IF IT'S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE HELSINKI:  Wayne Gretzky is
    planning a "goodwill tour" in Europe, with a group of elite
    players playing local clubs in European hockey cities, probably
    sometime in December.  Gretzky said it is an idea he has had for
    two years, "but the NHL has squashed it."  Gretzky:  "What I want
    to do is make it very legitimate hockey, make it good,
    competitive, strong hockey, strong enough that television would
    love to buy it and support it." Tentative sites include Helsinki,
    Stockholm, Dusseldorf, Bern and Milan (Al Strachan, TORONTO SUN,
    10/27).  Gretzky will not be available to play in the NHLPA's
    Hamilton tournament, due to a previously planned Caribbean cruise
    (Jim Taylor, Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/27).
         OTHER NEWS & NOTES:  The league denied a SPORTING NEWS
    report that federal mediator John Martin could join the talks as
    early as Tuesday.  NHL VP of Communications Arthur Pincus:  "As
    we have said over the past few weeks, we are not at the point
    where mediation or arbitration can help the process.  We have got
    to get some common ground first" (Al Strachan, TORONTO SUN,
    10/27)....Mighty Ducks coach Ron Wilson and 21 other members of
    the team's coaching and admin staff are taking other jobs within
    the Disney organization (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/27).
    

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  • MLS SAID TO HAVE THE NECESSARY CAPITAL TO START PLAY

         MLS "has accomplished one of its goals -- the financing is
    in place.  However, organizers are so far behind in planning that
    they have proposed postponing the start of the league until
    1996," according to a report in this morning's BOSTON GLOBE.  The
    "required" $75M in capitalization has been confirmed by sources,
    but MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg is yet to announce investors.
    Rumored investors include Soccer USA Partners of New York, a
    group led by the Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, NFL Chiefs owner Lamar
    Hunt and VA billionaire John Kluge.  But both Hunt and Kluge are
    "upset" their names have also been associated with the investment
    before an official announcement.  Patriots owner Robert Kraft,
    also a reported investor, "would prefer" to plan for a '96 start.
    MLS organizers have proposed a shortened schedule, in conjunction
    with U.S. Cup '95 and '96 Olympics preparations (Frank Dell'Apa,
    BOSTON GLOBE, 10/27).  Rothenberg "conceded" yesterday that a
    franchise in Long Island, NY, could be delayed for "the first
    couple of years."  The league is looking for a $2M investor to
    rebuild Hofstra Stadium (Alex Yannis, N.Y. TIMES, 10/27).
    Columnist Roscoe Nance suggests MLS should form a two division
    league with the APSL, one consisting of the APSL's individually
    owned teams and the other of the MLS's "single-entity teams."
    Nnace notes the APSL presently has one thing which the MLS does
    not -- "teams playing games" (USA TODAY, 10/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Houston Rockets, Kansas City Chiefs, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS, New England Patriots, NFL
  • NBA SET TO ANNOUNCE NO STRIKE/NO LOCKOUT PACT TODAY

         The NBA and the NBPA, "days away from an unannounced league-
    ordered work stoppage, reached an agreement in principle" late
    last night on a no-strike/no-lockout pledge that will allow the
    season to start on time on November 4.  According to sources, the
    league had notified the NBPA "about a week ago that a lockout
    would have begun Monday had they not come to this understanding.
    That will become a moot point, however, when the pact is
    completed and announced" in New York today (Scott Howard-Cooper,
    L.A. TIMES, 10/27).  The joint NBA-NBPA news conference is
    scheduled for 2:00pm EDT (USA TODAY, 10/27).  Had the no-
    strike/no-lockout pledge not been reached, NBA owners would have
    discussed the possibility of a lockout during a meeting in
    Chicago next Monday.  Negotiations between NBA Commissioner David
    Stern and NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham are ongoing (Richard
    Justice, WASHINGTON POST, 10/27).  Yesterday afternoon, Grantham
    sent a fax to agents on the CBA advisory board stating that
    league officials had informed him that if no agreement "in
    principle" is reached on a new contract by Monday, the owners
    would lock out the players (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE,
    10/27).
         THE DEAL:  In New York, Murray Chass reports that the "key
    element" was the consent of players David Wood and Howard Eisley
    to postpone a lawsuit filed on their behalf Monday over the
    league's "allegedly artificial reduction of the salary cap for
    this season" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/27).  Eisley said before a game on
    Tuesday that "he knew little about the suit.  In fact, his name
    was volunteered by his agent, Frank Catapano."  Catapano said
    that Jeffrey Kessler, the attorney handling the suit, called
    various agents and asked if any of their clients would have been
    paid more if the "cap hadn't been misrepresented" (Minneapolis
    STAR TRIBUNE, 10/26).
         NEGOTIATIONS:  Despite the no-strike, no-lockout deal, the
    two sides "were not close" to agreement on a new CBA.  Last week,
    the league offered the union a proposal that includes a hard
    salary cap, "removing some of the gimmicks that have enabled
    teams to circumvent the cap."  The union proposes eliminating the
    cap entirely (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 10/27).  The hard cap
    proposal by the league also included a prohibition on contracts
    with an "escape clause after one year."  That has been a
    "sticking point" with the NBA, which took several players to
    court over their opt-out clauses (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE,
    10/27).  According to one owner, "the atmosphere at the
    bargaining table has been fairly positive" (Peter Vecsey, N.Y.
    POST, 10/27).  MacMullan, from "SportsCenter":  "The one drawback
    to the players -- it gives David Stern everything he wants.  The
    games continue, his reputation remains intact, and the expired
    agreement, which he happens to like very much, will remain in
    effect" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/26).
    

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