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  • ANGELOS MEETS WITH SELIG ABOUT HIS PLAN TO END MLB STRIKE

         Orioles Owner Peter Angelos headed to L.A. yesterday,
    "apparently to continue his quest for an NFL franchise, but he
    stopped in Milwaukee to pitch his alternative revenue-sharing
    plan" for MLB to Acting Commissioner Bud Selig.  Angelos, Orioles
    Counsel George Stamas and attorney/agent Ron Shapiro met with
    Selig, "presumably in an attempt to bring Angelos back into the
    management mainstream."  Selig: "It was a very interesting
    meeting.  I would regard it as a constructive day.  He came here
    and expressed his opinions to me and I expressed mine to him."
    Angelos' proposal calls for players to contribute 3% of their
    earnings to a revenue pool to help subsidize small-market teams.
    The players' contribution, combined with the owners' own revenue-
    sharing plan, could raise as much as $100M per year to "bail out"
    weaker clubs.  MLBPA officials have not said "they would accept
    such a plan, but they did show some interest."  Angelos and MLBPA
    Exec Dir Don Fehr met a few weeks back about the plan (Peter
    Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 10/6).
         FREEZE FRAME:  The players have yet to respond to
    management's proposal for a 45-day freeze on off-season dates and
    rules on the "conduct of business transactions.  But the players
    most likely will see no benefit in endorsing the idea, because
    they don't know what the ramifications would be."  Union and
    management officials met yesterday to discuss the freeze, which
    would halt player transactions, most notably, free agents, until
    November 15 (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 10/6).  Union officials
    fear the freeze is intended to give the owners more time to
    "figure out how to impose a salary cap after declaring an impasse
    in negotiations.  Union officials said the freeze could be
    considered collusion" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 10/6).
         THE GAMES GOES ON:  With Michael Jordan participating in the
    Arizona Fall League with the Scottsdale Scorpions, more than 70
    media credentials have been issued for his first game and season-
    ticket passes for the entire league are sold out.  Each MLB team
    is allowed to send six players to AZ, but the White Sox
    petitioned to add a seventh -- Jordan -- so that none of their
    more advanced players would be cheated.  Noting MLB's "small
    public relations problem at the moment," Bob Ford notes the
    exemption was granted with no protest from other teams
    (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/6).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NFL
  • BEYOND THE RHETORIC: WHY WAS OWNERSHIP SO ANGRY?

         The NHL owners' "anger appeared to stem from the fact that
    they, for the first time, apparently offered up a tax on gate
    receipt revenue as a means of generating support funds for small
    market teams."  The inclusion of a revenue tax "marked a
    significant departure from previous offers" (Damien Cox, TORONTO
    STAR, 10/6).  Mark Everson calls the owners' offer to tax gate
    receipts a "major shift" and predicts it could "be the basis for
    an agreement, once blood pressures drop."  Bettman, on Goodenow's
    inclusion of a gate receipts tax in the union proposal:  "He
    thought I couldn't get it past the Board of Governors.  Well, I
    can" (N.Y. POST, 10/6).  Goodenow reported that during the talks,
    McMullen told the NHLPA, "The hell with small markets, that's not
    what this is about" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/5).
         SPECIFICS:  Larry Brooks lays out the NHL's latest revenue-
    sharing plan in this morning's N.Y. POST:  1)  Using the '93-94
    average payroll of $14.1M as a "trigger," there would be a flat
    1% payroll tax per million up to the trigger; 2) There would be a
    marginal 5% tax rate for each $325,000 above the trigger; 3) A
    flat 3% tax on gate receipts for the top 16 revenue teams.  The
    NHL "is willing to negotiate the trigger position.  It has also
    proposed a minimum team payroll, with funds generated from the
    taxation monies dedicated to salary" (N.Y. POST, 10/6).  ESPN's
    Al Morganti reported that the NHL brought its 125% ceiling on a
    payroll tax down to 122% ("SportsCenter," 10/5).  In Toronto, Bob
    McKenzie reports the league also proposed a rate proposal that
    "progressively taxed every team on every payroll dollar -- even
    those under the league average -- up to a minimum of 105 percent"
    (TORONTO STAR, 10/6).  Goodenow said the union will be preparing
    a counter-proposal "over the next day or so" ("SportsCenter,"
    ESPN, 10/5).
         UNITY CHECK FOR BOTH SIDES:  In New York, Mark Everson
    reports a "significant schism has formed" among the owners. The
    Rangers, Red Wings, Flames, Canadiens and Maple Leafs "are
    believed to be pressing for a settlement," with the Devils,
    Bruins and Flyers "dug in" (N.Y. POST, 10/6).  In Winnipeg this
    morning, Brian Smiley reports at least two Jets -- "one, a very
    high-profile player -- are experiencing severe financial
    difficulties" (WINNIPEG SUN, 10/6).
         DEFINING "REVENUE":  Goodenow also criticized NHL VP Brian
    Burke for giving a "one-sided picture" of the league's offer to
    guarantee the players 63% of all revenue.  The NHL definition of
    revenue "leaves out marketing, the new Fox network TV deal,
    expansion fees, pay-per-view potential in Canada and other
    revenue sources" (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/6).
    Bettman said the figure on NHL losses in '92-93, which the league
    claims to be $32M, does not include expansion fees from the
    Lightning and Senators shared by the other 22 clubs (Jim Smith,
    N.Y. NEWSDAY, 10/6).  Bettman: "A business doesn't, on an on-
    going basis, reports its operating revenue to include
    extraordinary sales of assets.  We're not in the business of
    selling expansion franchises every year" (Len Hochberg,
    WASHINGTON POST, 10/6).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Comcast-Spectacor, Detroit Red Wings, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Jets, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • IS THE IHL LOOKING TO "BUSH-WHACK" THE NHL?

         "While the NHL is worrying about hammering out a new deal
    with the players' association, shouldn't somebody be worrying
    about the [IHL]?," asks Mike Beamish in this morning's VANCOUVER
    SUN.  The IHL has expanded into 13 of the top 30 American media
    markets.  The NHL, which is in 14 of the top 30 U.S. markets, has
    no right to exclude minor-league teams from its cities -- unlike
    MLB.  And that has caused concerns among one NHL owner, Mike
    Ilitch of the Red Wings, about Commissioner Gary Bettman's "get
    tough strategy" in the labor talks.  IHL expansion fees will
    reach $6-8M next year, with New Orleans, Orlando, San Francisco,
    Seattle, Mexico City and Toronto under consideration for
    franchises.  Cleveland Lumberjacks owner Larry Gordon, former GM
    of the Edmonton Oilers:  "What's happened to our league is
    happening in all areas of the country.  Hockey is taking off"
    (VANCOUVER SUN, 10/6).
         MORE THAN A MINOR CHALLENGE?  Beamish writes, "One might
    wonder whether the IHL is in a better position to make a run at
    the NHL" than the WHA did in '72.  Some IHL owners, including
    Gordon, "insist" the IHL "neither desires nor can afford a
    challenge to the NHL's supremacy.  Still, they're acting
    suspiciously like an outfit planning to become a major-league
    rival, perhaps raising the possibility of an NFL-AFL merger
    scenario" (VANCOUVER SUN, 10/6).
         VIPERS REFUSE TO BITE:  Detroit Vipers GM and Coach Rick
    Dudley "rebuffed" a call from Maple Leafs player Doug Gilmour
    asking to play for the team.  Dudley said he did not want to
    "disrupt" his lineup only to have Gilmour return to the NHL when
    their season resumes.  The IHL has "officially" told clubs not to
    start signing NHL players, but Las Vegas Thunder GM Bob Strumm is
    willing to.  If Strumm signs NHL players, Dudley "said he would
    change his mind" about Gilmour (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE &
    MAIL, 10/6).
         BUT THE MOOSE ARE CALLING:  The Minnesota Moose have offered
    Dallas Stars centers Mike Modano and Neil Broten and Flames
    defenseman Phil Housley $1,000 per game to join the IHL
    franchise.  Modano is interested in playing for the Moose, but
    added that he has to review his insurance policy with the Stars.
    Stars Coach/GM Bob Gainey did not think there are any contractual
    impediments to keep NHL players out of the IHL (Terry Egan,
    DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/5).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, MLB, NFL, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Southwest Sports Group, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER HIT WITH ANOTHER MAJOR PROBLEM

         Major League Soccer (MLS) "received another setback
    Wednesday.  Actually, it was more of a slap in the face."  The
    American Professional Soccer League (APSL) "unanimously rejected
    an overture from MLS officials that the two leagues join forces."
    The "sticking point" for APSL owners is MLS's intention to
    operate as a so-called "single-entity" league, with the league
    itself owning all the teams and the player contracts.  APSL
    Commissioner Richard Groff, who narrowly lost the U.S. Soccer
    Federation presidency to MLS head Alan Rothenberg, said APSL
    owners are "vehemently against such a concept":  "It was totally
    unanimous. ... [APSL owners] prefer to own their own teams, to
    own the players, to develop the teams in their marketplace and to
    be responsible for 100% of the income and the expenses."
    Therefore, the MLS and APSL will go head-to-head next spring,
    competing for both players and fans, even though the USSF had
    said there could be only one first-division league in the
    country.  Groff had hoped there might be a "possible middle
    road": "We could see a compromise, within the MLS, there could be
    a division of single-entity teams and another division of owner-
    operated teams" (Grahame Jones, L.A. TIMES, 10/6).
         WHERE THE TEAMS ARE:  The APSL currently operates as a 7-
    team league with franchises in L.A., Vancouver, Seattle,
    Montreal, Toronto, Ft. Lauderdale and Denver.  They hope to add
    two or three more markets in '95.  MLS, which has a TV contract
    with ESPN and many contracts with equipment manufacturers will be
    a 12-team league.  Seven franchises have been awarded:  L.A.,
    Boston, Columbus, OH, New York, New Jersey, San Jose and
    Washington.  The other five will come from among the following
    bidders:  Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston,
    Indianapolis, Kansas City, Sacramento, Seattle, Tampa and Tulsa
    (L.A. TIMES, 10/6).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS, Walt Disney
  • NFL WANTS IN ON LABOR PROBLEMS, TOO?

         NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw met with Eagles players yesterday
    in an "hourlong venting session ... over the inequities and
    injustices of the NFL's new salary cap."  The only "positive
    development" in the session was Upshaw's announcement that the
    NFLPA would like to settle the grievance the union has filed
    against the league, and the Eagles "to restore the salary
    reductions" handed down to some Eagle players.  Sources say
    Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie "is torn about whether to pursue the
    grievance case all the way to the arbitration hearing, which is
    scheduled for Monday and Tuesday" of next week.  "Lurie would
    like to eliminate the distraction, but he also thinks the team
    has an ironclad case."  Upshaw and Harold Henderson, chair of the
    NFL's management council, could settle the case -- "if Lurie and
    the players involved agree."  Some players want an
    acknowledgement by the NFL that what the Eagles did cannot happen
    again (S.A. Paolantonio, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/6).  Eagle
    tackle Broderick Thompson, who was forced to take a $200,000 pay
    cut, characterized the meeting has "hostile, very hostile"
    (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/6).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles
  • NHL LABOR TALKS END WITH A BARRAGE OF GOODENOW-BASHING

         In Toronto, Bob McKenzie sums up the state of the talks on a
    new NHL collective bargaining agreement:  "NHL owners believe
    [NHLPA Exec Dir] Bob Goodenow is an intransigent S.O.B. who
    doesn't know the meaning of compromise and has a cavalier
    disregard for the league's serious economic woes.  NHL players
    believe [Commissioner] Gary Bettman is a vindictive egomaniac
    with no knowledge of the game who wants players to be serfs in a
    hockey feudal system.  Well, well, aren't things going just
    swimmingly?" (TORONTO STAR, 10/6).      HARRY'S NOT WILD ABOUT
    BOB:  At the management press conference following the meetings,
    Bruins President & GM Harry Sinden made "an impassioned speech"
    attacking Goodenow and Devils Owner John McMullen "questioned
    Goodenow's intelligence" (Alan Adams, CP/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/6).
    Sinden:  "No matter what you do, no matter what you try, no
    matter what compromise position you come up with. ... They will
    be rejected. ... Mr. Goodenow has a different group of people to
    deal with this time.  We will never capitulate" ("SportsCenter,"
    ESPN, 10/5).  McMullen:  "The most important thing of all when
    you deal with a union is to have an intelligent union leader --
    and we didn't have one today" (Mult., 10/6).  "Sinden likely did
    more to harden the lines of communication last night than would
    have anything said face-to-face" (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver
    PROVINCE, 10/6).  Some thought the presence of management
    representatives at the bargaining table "might help the
    proceedings.  Now there is a question how much damage they might
    have done" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/6).  Bettman later
    distanced himself from the tone taken by Sinden and McMullen:
    "It's not appropriate for us to repudiate anybody's intelligence
    or make any personal or nasty comments" (Mult., 10/6).
         RESPONSE:  Goodenow:  "If Harry Sinden and John McMullen
    believe this sort of tactic is going to make us give in to their
    plan, they're wrong. ... Remember, we're the ones being locked
    out here" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/6).   HOPE IS FLEETING:  ESPN's
    Al Morganti: "These two sides are so far apart philosophically,
    it doesn't look good for hockey October 15" ("SportsCenter,"
    10/5).  "Unless the owners are prepared to do radical surgery to
    their proposal, don't expect a deal soon.  The gulf between the
    sides is simply too great" (John MacKinnon, OTTAWA CITIZEN,
    10/6).  Penguins Owner Howard Baldwin:  "It is over.  We are not
    getting anywhere.  I came here as a dove.  Now I am a hawk"
    (CANADIAN PRESS/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/6).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • STERN AND NBA RISE ABOVE THE FRAY: LOCKOUT TALK REJECTED

         In an attempt to avert a work stoppage, diffuse labor-
    management tensions, and set the NBA apart from the strife
    plaguing baseball and hockey, Commissioner David Stern and the
    NBA Board of Governors declined to set a lockout date (Mult.,
    10/6).  Stern also declared that "all issues are negotiable
    except for some form of revenue sharing between players and
    owners."  Stern:  "There are no ultimata, no gaunlet being thrown
    down here.  We would like to have a deal as soon as possible"
    (Fred Kerber, N.Y. POST, 10/6).
         FORGET THE HEAVY GUNS:  Stern and the league "believes there
    is time to sit down with the players and hammer out a new labor
    agreement."  Stern:  "We have never had a strike and never had a
    lockout.  We know what a strike is.  We know what a lockout is.
    But those particular weapons have never been called into action.
    We haven't and we don't plan to" (Richard Justice, WASHINGTON
    POST, 10/6).
         REAX FROM THE PLAYERS:  NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham was
    reportedly "impressed" by Stern's words, but no talks have been
    scheduled.  Grantham:  "The message is clear:  There is intent to
    negotiate and resolve the issues by the owners.  It's good that a
    lockout has not been deemed a target.  We'll talk" (Alex Marvez,
    MIAMI HERALD, 10/6).
         DREAM TEAM III?  The Board of Governors elected a
    negotiating committee to conduct talks with the players
    association:  Larry Miller of the Jazz; Jerry Buss of the Lakers;
    Gordon Gund of the Cavaliers; Stan Kasten of the Hawks; Jim
    Fitzgerald of the Warriors; and Harold Katz of the 76ers (Filip
    Bondy, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/6).  Miller:  "We have time and we
    want to keep this in a non-hostile environment" (Richard
    Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 10/6).  Katz:  "We're open to all
    discussion on how we define gross, what is the gross, and what
    percentage of the gross they get.  We're asking them [the NBPA]
    to submit things to us, naturally, and we'll submit things to
    them" (Frank Lawlor, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/6).
         PRAISE FROM STERN, PRAISE FOR STERN:  Stern declared himself
    "Easy Dave" to the news media -- and in this morning's N.Y.
    TIMES, Harvey Araton writes that yesterday was Stern's "greatest
    performance facing the lights."  Araton:  "It was also the one-
    time tax attorney in his natural element, in a dazzling
    presentation of sanguine pragmaticism, sure-footed tap-dancing
    and a professed love for all mankind, in particular the kind who
    can dribble and dunk" (Harvey Araton, N.Y. TIMES, 10/6). ESPN's
    Craig Kilborn: "Bud Selig and Gary Bettman both know David Stern,
    they've met David Stern, but they're no David Stern.  NBA
    Commissioner David Stern has guaranteed that his league will
    start on time" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/6).  CNN's Mark Morgan
    credited Stern with "a very diplomatic approach"  ("Sports
    Tonight," CNN, 10/5).
         EXPANSION NEWS:  Also at the meetings, the NBA assigned
    divisions for the expansion Raptors and Grizzlies.  The Raptors
    will be in the Central Division and the Grizzlies in the Midwest.
    Raptors VP of Operations Isiah Thomas:  "The thing that helps us
    in the Central is probably ease of access for our fans in terms
    of away games" (Robert MacLeod, Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL, 10/6).
    

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