SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies

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).
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