SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • AFL HEADQUARTERS MOVE TO FLORIDA; ADDS SAN JOSE FOR '95

         The Arena Football League announced they will transfer
    "complete business operations" from Chicago to an office in
    Florida.  AFL Commissioner James Drucker said relocation of the
    league HQs will bring an estimated $5M a year in economic
    benefits to the state.  A decision has not been made as to where
    they will be located, but Drucker did say it would be within the
    metro areas of Tampa, Orlando or Miami.  The AFL has three
    franchises in Florida and Drucker said "the league's desire to
    expand to South America was also influential in the decision to
    leave Chicago."  In addition, the announcement of the new San
    Jose franchise is expected soon (Roger Mills, ST. PETERSBURG
    TIMES, 11/1).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 82: HARRINGTON BACKS MITCHELL

         Red Sox CEO John Harrington, last night said he would
    support retiring Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as the
    next MLB Commissioner.  Mitchell, who met with BOSTON HERALD
    editors yesterday, said he has talked with many owners, including
    Harrington, about the job and would consider it if offered (Joe
    Giulotti, BOSTON HERALD, 11/1).
         METS THREATS:  Less than a week after Met players Bobby
    Bonilla and John Franco made "threatening comments about the fate
    other players faced if they became strike breakers next spring,"
    MLB's labor relations committee filed an unfair labor practice
    charge against the two.  MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza said
    Bonilla and Franco should not have made the comments: "I
    understand the frustration which leads them to say such things,
    if they said it, but it remains the wrong thing to have said"
    (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Mets
  • CFL LOOKS TO NAME CHANGE, DIFFERENT RULES TO MARKET GAME

         The CFL is discussing ways to make the league a more "viable
    product in the U.S."  Among the possibilities: changing the name
    of the league, "Americanizing" the rules, and having Canadian and
    American divisions with more geographic rivalries.  Jim Speros,
    managing partner of Baltimore's CFL team said the CFL "as we know
    it is over. It's got to be an international league between two
    countries."  Speros wants the league to rival the NFL, but
    admitted, "we don't have any identity.  We're not maximizing our
    potential."  The league is struggling in the U.S., where two of
    four expansion teams must relocate before next season, and the
    "crisis is equally evident north of the border," where teams in
    Hamilton and Ottawa face financial trouble.  Commissioner Larry
    Smith said the league must do "some pruning."  Smith: "There may
    be a small consolidation process.  Consolidation could mean less
    Canadian, more American cities."  The CFL's marketing committee
    will explore options on a name change, as Speros believes the
    league's name must "reflect the American partner."  The changes
    are an attempt to make the CFL a more attractive product for U.S.
    television, as "the success of American expansion ultimately
    rests with a U.S. television contract," even if it means
    extending the season into December.  Speros: "If we blow this
    opportunity, somebody else will take advantage of it" (Ken
    Murray, Baltimore SUN, 11/1).
    

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  • GRANTHAM SAYS LURE OF INT'L EXPANSION A CAUSE OF STRIFE

         NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham believes the prospect of
    int'l expansion is a main reason behind the labor conflicts.
    Grantham, citing the desire for fixed labor costs:  "With five
    billion potential customers outside the U.S., that is profit if
    (owners) can get their costs down. ... The mode of business
    operation (in the NBA) in not recessionary minded, but
    expansionary minded" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/31).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 32: NO GAINS IN LAND O' GRIDLOCK

         "Another Monday, another secret meeting, another report of
    no progress," reports Murray Chass in this morning's N.Y. TIMES.
    NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow and
    officials from both sides met yesterday for about five hours at
    an undisclosed location in Washington.  "League officials were
    left with nothing to do but cancel more games.  They are expected
    to do that today and perhaps tomorrow" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/1).  "The
    lack of movement serves as a fitting backdrop for the next round
    of cancellations" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 11/1).  NHL
    spokesperson Andy McGowan "said the two sides have agreed to meet
    again this week, although no time or location was specified"
    (Nancy Marrapese, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/1).  With the NHLPA set to
    hold an informational meeting for its membership tomorrow in
    Toronto, "yesterday seemed the perfect opportunity for the NHL to
    offer the union a proposal to consider in timely fashion" (Mark
    Everson, N.Y. POST, 11/1).
         KEENAN WANTS IN:  Blues Coach/GM Mike Keenan suggests that
    some GMs join the talks. Keenan:  "It's my belief that given the
    stalemate and atmosphere of distrust between the parties, it's
    time to step back, reload and perhaps get back to the table with
    a different group.  It's possible now that the negotiators are
    fatigued.  Or maybe they lack the imagination to move forward.
    ... [But] Gary told me that he preferred to leave matters with
    himself and the league negotiating committee" (Larry Brooks, N.Y.
    POST, 11/1).
         THE STAKES:  In L.A., Helene Elliott outlines the dangers
    the league faces:  "The hard-core fans will return, but the
    casual fans, the ones the NHL needs to broaden its scope, are
    disillusioned and unlikely to return. ... It's painful to say,
    but maybe hockey's critics have been right all along.  Maybe it
    is a minor sport.  Bettman has a major problem if he thinks
    killing the season is the way to make the game grow" (L.A. TIMES,
    11/1).
         OTHER NEWS & NOTES:  Doug Gilmour has decided to play in
    Switzerland (CP/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 11/1).  In Toronto, William
    Houston asks how long players such as Gilmour (with "few peak
    money-making years ahead of him) can afford to stay out.  "Owners
    are counting that he, and others in similar circumstances,
    cannot" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/1).  Oilers President & GM Glen
    Sather was critical of the players' exhibitions:  "Let's solve
    the problem instead of working on this big PR deal" (HARTFORD
    COURANT, 11/1).
         CLARIFICATION:  Yesterday's SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY summary of
    a piece by Len Hochberg of the WASHINGTON POST on the dispute
    over the NHL's financial data should have noted that Goodenow's
    statement ("To be candid, we are skeptical of the quality of
    information you might provide") was not in direct response to the
    league.  Rather, it preceded the league's offer to start the
    season if the union would agree to an independent audit of the
    financial records.
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, St. Louis Blues
  • MLB EXPANSION COMMITTEE SET TO HEAR PROPOSALS TODAY

         MLB's expansion committee will hear presentations today from
    civic leaders from three potential franchise sites, Phoenix,
    Tampa-St. Petersburg and Northern VA, to determine whether to add
    at least two more teams -- and, if so, where they should be
    located.  The committee's first decision will be to decide
    whether baseball should expand at all, and if the expected
    benefits could overcome the damage of the labor dispute (Mark
    Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 11/1).  Expansion and its job-creation
    possibilities could be used by the owners as a bargaining chip in
    labor talks.  Expansion would also bring in millions in franchise
    fees, possibly more than $150M for each entry, as well as placate
    members of Congress threatening to revoke baseball's antitrust
    exemption (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/1).  Expansion
    committee chair John Harrington said he believes the owners would
    support expansion, but Orioles Owner Peter Angelos remains
    staunchly opposed: "I believe the possible expansion sites should
    be reserved for the relocation of franchises that could not be
    expected to draw a sufficient number of fans even with modern
    ballparks."  The committee plans to decide in December or January
    whether to recommend further expansion.  Harrington said that the
    entire ownership body will make a final decision in February or
    March (WASHINGTON POST, 11/1).
         FRONTRUNNERS?  Tampa Bay and Phoenix are widely considered
    the "leading candidates by many in and around baseball."  St.
    Petersburg civic leader Jack Critchfield said his major concern
    was whether the committee will decide to expand.  But Phoenix
    leader/NBA Suns President Jerry Colangelo is confident an
    expansion team would be awarded because MLB "needs the positives
    a new franchise will bring" (Marc Topkin, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES,
    11/1).  Joe Hendersen writes, "Most everyone west of Orlando
    believes Tampa Bay will get" a franchise (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/1).
         WHEN IN DOUBT, RELOCATE:  Although Northern VA attorney Bart
    Fisher said he was "pumped up about our chances" of landing an
    expansion team, he said they will also explore buying an existing
    franchise: "We will be looking at Oakland after December 6, when
    the local auction deadline expires.  We will be looking at other
    small-market teams that may become available as well.  We are
    still very interested in relocation" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NBA, Phoenix Suns
  • MLB OWNERS SAY, "NO MOSS"; MORE ON THE NEW UNITED LEAGUE

         Today in New York, agent Richard Moss and his partners will
    unveil plans for the new United Baseball League, a "partnership"
    between management and players.  Sources say league organizers
    believe 1996 is the "most feasible start-up date, but they
    probably will give things a try in '95."  Most MLB owners dismiss
    talk of a new players' league as a "negotiating threat."
    According to a prospectus, the United League would start with 10-
    12 teams in six countries.  MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza:
    "It's obviously something we have to explore.  Our immediate
    objective is to try to get a collectove baragining agreement ...
    [but it is] could gain prominence if we get into November or
    December and there's no settlement" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,
    11/1).  In Vancouver, Mike Beamish, who notes that Gary Davidson
    of the WFL & WHA is one of the "principal figures" behind the
    United League, reports that top Vancouver business leaders have
    been contacted.  Warren Buckley, chair of the B.C. Pavilion
    Corp.:  "Dick Moss feels Vancouver would be a natural jumping off
    point" (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/1).  Hal Bodley writes, "The moment
    owners and players reach an agreement, the United Baseball League
    will be kaput.  Until then, it's something to talk about" (USA
    TODAY, 11/1).
         THE PARTNERSHIP:  The new league will form a "true
    partnership" between clubs and players, with the players
    receiving 35% of each team's pretax profits and a 10% equity
    share in all teams collectively.  Also, the league will offer
    cities 15% pretax profit and equity share in the teams in return
    for construction of a "fan friendly" stadium or the use of an
    existing "first-rate facility."  Cities, in lieu of rent, would
    receive 50% of luxury-suite revenue and 1/3 parking revenue
    (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/1).
         THE FOUNDERS:  Besides the four principal founders -- Moss,
    former U.S. Rep. Bob Mrazek, U.S. Rep. John Bryant and Smith
    College economist Andrew Zimbalist -- the management company
    includes Curt Flood, former U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen, banker Alan
    Altschuler, former House Majority Whip Bill Gray (now Chair of
    the United Negro College Fund), lobbyist Robert Keefe and Eric
    Vinson, VP of the U.S. Trust Company (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES,
    11/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
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