SBD/18/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • ATLANTA SPORTS COUNCIL TO BID FOR U.S. TENNIS OPEN

         The Atlanta Sports Council is "taking a crack at luring" the
    U.S. Open Tennis Championships away from New York, and has
    already sent a proposal to the USTA to build its center in Stone
    Mountain, GA.  The USTA has plans and a budget to renovate
    Flushing Meadows, the current U.S. Open site.  In their proposal,
    Atlanta officials estimated that a GA facility would cost about
    $75M less than New York because of lower construction costs.  The
    Atlanta proposal calls for using the 12,000-seat Olympics tennis
    venue as part of the U.S. Tennis Center.  The 130 acres next to
    the venue would be available to the USTA so it could construct a
    stadium with a retractable roof.  Atlanta Chamber President
    Gerald Bartels: "It's a long shot, but it would be really neat if
    we got it."  John Niemeyer, speaking for the Southern Tennis
    Association, believes Atlanta's chances are not good, because he
    said the "old guard" would fight to keep the Open in New York.
    Jimmy Connors: "Atlanta would love it and support it.  But ...
    it's always been the 'U.S. Open in New York.'"  But the USTA is
    also aware many players, especially the younger ones, do not like
    New York because of the jet noise, traffic, expense and getting
    in and out of Flushing Meadows (Saporta & Brice, ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 11/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, USTA
  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 99: OWNERS UNVEIL TAX PLAN

         "Baseball ownership presented a new contract proposal to
    striking players yesterday, but it appears the long-awaited
    alternative to management's salary cap proposal will not lead to
    a quick settlement," according to Peter Schmuck in this morning's
    Baltimore SUN.  The MLBPA may have a response today, "but only if
    they are satisfied they have enough information to properly
    analyze the ownership proposal" (Baltimore SUN, 11/18).  MLBPA
    General Counsel Gene Orza:  "We need to spend some time analyzing
    a 102-page document that we saw for the first time today. ... The
    owners have had their time at the plate.  It's our half-inning"
    (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/18).
         REAX:  "The tax concept puts the owners and players on the
    same philosophical footing, but the severity of the tax --
    believed to climb above 100% -- works in the same manner as a cap
    and might make a compromise difficult" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES,
    11/18).  "It could be a starting point, but days, maybe weeks
    will be needed to make it workable for the players" (Hal Bodley,
    USA TODAY, 11/18).  The tax proposal is a "step towards
    agreement, philosophically, if not practically" (Mark Maske,
    WASHINGTON POST, 11/18).
         KEEPING THE CAP ON THE TABLE:  The owners also revised, but
    did not withdraw, their salary cap.  Removed was the $1B
    guarantee in players' salaries; added were fixed salaries for 1st
    through 4th year players.  "The changes would make it easier for
    the owners to implement their proposal" if there is no settlement
    (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 11/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 49: BEANTOWN BREAKTHROUGH?

         Negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA resumed yesterday
    in Boston with plans for the two sides to meet again today.  And,
    according to Joe Gordon in today's BOSTON HERALD, the "lockout
    logjam might have been effectively broken."  One source "close to
    the negotiations" reports that the owners "were prepared to pull
    their demand for a restrictive payroll tax off the table in
    exchange for a quid pro quo that would be a deal-maker."  The
    source:  "I know (ownership) was ready to pull the luxury tax off
    the table (yesterday) afternoon.  They wanted something in return
    in the area of arbitration.  I don't think the players would
    settle for the elimination of arbitration, but I believe they
    were willing to listen to a proposal that would make it something
    like baseball arbitration.  A player could file for it after
    three of five years" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/18).  CP's Alan Adams
    also cites "unconfirmed reports that the owners were going to
    make a meaningful offer with the absence of the controversial
    payroll tax.  But whether that meant the owners were going to
    remove the tax or put it on a shelf until progress was made on
    other substantive issues wasn't clear" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    11/18).
         CLIFF NOTES:  Several observers noted the positive effect of
    Maple Leaf President & GM Cliff Fletcher's presence.  In Toronto,
    Bob McKenzie writes that NHL brass would have not brought
    Fletcher in "if they didn't think his inclusion is critical to
    the process" (TORONTO STAR, 11/18).  Also in Toronto, Al Strachan
    writes Fletcher "may have provided the push that was needed" to
    get the talks moving again (TORONTO SUN, 11/18).  Panthers Player
    Rep John Vanbiesbrouck called Fletcher "a common-sense,
    compromising authority" (Joe LaPointe, N.Y. TIMES, 11/18).
         PRE-THANKSGIVING CARVING:  The NHL announced that it has
    canceled 10 more games, meaning that maximum number of games a
    team can play in '94-95 is 60 -- 30 at home, 30 on the road
    (NHL).  According to the N.Y. POST, the league is considering
    shrinking the first two playoff rounds to best-of-five.  That
    could allow for a 56-game schedule starting as late as January 14
    (Larry Brooks, N.Y. POST, 11/18).
         "HOCKEY NIGHT IN EUROPE":  A deal is "imminent" with CBC to
    air games from Wayne Gretzky's planned NHL all-star tour of
    Europe (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
  • IT'S OFFICIAL, GREG NORMAN AND OTHERS ANNOUNCE "WORLD TOUR"

         Plans for an "ambitious" new int'l golf tour were announced
    yesterday, "setting up a monumental battle with the PGA Tour over
    control of the highest and richest realm of professional golf"
    (Dave Sheinin, MIAMI HERALD, 11/18).
         THE PARTICULARS:  At a news conference, Greg Norman and John
    Montgomery, formerly of Executive Sports, announced an 8-event,
    $25M tour for the top 30 players in the world set to begin in
    March '95.  Plans call for each event to have $3M in prize money;
    the player of the year will receive a $1M bonus.  In addition,
    each player who commits to the tour will receive a $50,000 travel
    allowance.  The SONY rankings will determine the top 30 players.
    World Tour event sponsors will be allowed 10 exemptions to expand
    tourney fields to 40.  Montgomery said he has spoken with Jack
    Nicklaus and that Nicklaus would be open to playing under an
    exemption.  Montgomery will be the tour's Exec Dir.  His father,
    John Montgomery, Sr., remains head of Executive Sports, a FL-
    based event management firm that puts on several tournaments on
    the PGA, Senior PGA and LPGA Tours (Thomas Bonk, L.A. TIMES,
    11/18).
         PLAYERS, MONEY, SPONSORS:  So far the World Tour has "no
    sponsors, no schedule, no sites and no players, except for
    Norman."  Norman, who would not identify players who said they
    would play: "The response has been overwhelming."  He read a
    message of support from Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain.  Plans call
    for four events in the U.S. and one each in Canada, Scotland,
    Spain and Japan.  Initial scheduling is for events to be played
    the week before major tournaments.  Norman said the first event
    is planned the week before the Masters, April 6-9.  Nick Price
    said he stands behind Norman, "but with reservations": "He has my
    total support, as long as my position on the PGA Tour isn't
    challenged."  Price's "influence is vital to the new tour" since
    he is the PGA's leading money winner and the No. 1 SONY ranked
    player (L.A. TIMES, 11/18).  Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros
    reportedly have agreed to play.  Norman also noted that Fred
    Couples and Arnold Palmer were among U.S. players that expressed
    support.  But Couples' agent, Lynn Roach, said, "At this time,
    one would not be advised to do it and risk losing their
    membership in the PGA Tour by joining the tour."  Both the PGA
    Tour and European Tour have gone on record as "opposing the new
    venture."  Montgomery said that dates and sites would be released
    within the next 60 days (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST,
    11/18).
         FOX'S ROLE:  Fox Broadcasting has agreed to underwrite and
    televise the tour.  Montgomery said Fox telecasts would run in
    the same time periods as PGA Tour events (L.A. TIMES, 11/18).
    Rudy Martzke notes that Fox's Pat Summerall will likely be the
    Tour's lead announcer (USA TODAY, 11/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA, News Corp./Fox, PGA Tour
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