SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • A RESTRUCTURING OF THE APSL IS ANNOUNCED

         The APSL is set with seven teams for '95 after owners
    accepted an application for a New York franchise, and the Ft.
    Lauderdale and L.A. teams withdrew from the league.  The league
    will operate with five holdover teams from last year:  Colorado,
    Seattle, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.  The other team is the
    expansion Atlanta Ruckus. Ft. Lauderdale's withdrawal was
    expected, but L.A.'s was a surprise.  L.A. Owner William De La
    Pena said he withdrew "because of the confusion that exists in
    professional soccer" and said he will retain L.A.'s territorial
    rights and assets and compete at the highest level in '96 (Roscoe
    Nance, USA TODAY, 1/16).
    

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 159: THE REPLACEMENT PLAN

         MLB's Executive Council has approved the recommendation of
    the Operating Committee on the guidelines for the use of
    replacement players.  The directive asks the clubs to prepare for
    opening spring training and the season "on time," including
    playing the World Series with replacements, if necessary.  Acting
    MLB Commissioner Bud Selig:  "We are committed to playing the
    1995 season and will do so with the best players willing to play"
    (MLB).  Red Sox CEO John Harrington said a replacement plan was
    drawn up because "the No. 1 priority is maintaining the framework
    of a business that, once the player strike is over, must return
    to normal" (Larry Whiteside, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/15).
         ANGELOS STANDS PAT:  Orioles Owner Peter Angelos continues
    to refuse to field a replacement team, and club sources also
    indicated that the Orioles will likely refuse to participate in
    spring training games (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/15).
    Sources say that the only possibility that might cause Angelos to
    field a team is if MLB can "lift the franchise" from the Angelos
    ownership group (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 1/14).  The
    Orioles have hired a polling firm to determine whether fans are
    opposed to replacements (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 1/17).
         CHAOS:  In his Sunday column, Peter Gammons examines the
    chaos facing MLB's front offices -- from hiring replacements to
    fitting teams under the new cap.  As for the use of replacements,
    Gammons notes that no current agent will or can represent a
    "scab."  Greg Clifton, CEO of Bob Woolf Associates: "One cannot
    represent a [MLB] player and someone who is trying to take that
    player's job or bust his union."  Gammons closes by noting that
    teams may spend less even without a cap since revenues for the
    next couple of years are certain to be lower (BOSTON GLOBE,
    1/15).
         UNION NEWS:  MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr continued his
    players tour with a stop in Dallas last Friday.  In attendance
    was the Astros' Greg Swindell who apologized" to his fellow
    players for comments made last month that he would consider
    crossing the picket line (Sullivan & Lonnquist, FT. WORTH STAR-
    TELEGRAM, 1/14).  Dennis Gilbert, Barry Bonds' agent, denies the
    rumor that Bonds may cross the line (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/15).
    In New York, Tom Keegan notes the dispute that local unions are
    having with Frank Thomas because Thomas is using non-union labor
    to help build his mansion.  Keegan also wonders whether Thomas
    would possibly cross the picket line (N.Y. POST, 1/17).
         NEXT?  Special Mediator Bill Usery plans on meeting with
    both sides this week in the hopes of setting up joint bargaining
    sessions (Mult., 1/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • DALLAS-FT. WORTH OFFICIALS WORRIED ABOUT MLB ALL-STAR GAME

         An AP report notes that, besides looking for replacements,
    the Rangers have "another worry: the All-Star Game."  Area
    business leaders are concerned that game could be lost which
    could cost the  Dallas-Ft. Worth area "tens of millions of
    dollars."  Rangers President Tom Schieffer is optimistic that the
    game will not be cancelled: "That would mean that the entire
    season has been canceled.  I just can't see that happening" (FT.
    WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/16).
    

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  • NBA'S STERN ACKNOWLEDGES SLOW-MOVING LABOR TALKS

         NBA Commissioner David Stern acknowledged that negotiations
    with the players union for a new CBA are "moving slowly."  Stern,
    who has expressed hopes to have a deal by the All-Star break: "I
    don't know that there are necessarily enough days left between
    now and the All-Star game.  We've got some meetings scheduled and
    we'd love to make some progress.  I just don't want to disappoint
    anybody.  If we don't do it by the All-Star Game [February 12], I
    don't want someone to think we haven't achieved anything."  NBPA
    Exec Dir Charles Grantham: "We've gone nowhere.  In many ways,
    we're just stepping into the batter's box."  Stern on the NHL's
    deal: "It sounds like they have a deal that everybody is unhappy
    with, which means it's a good deal" (Chris Young, TORONTO STAR,
    1/14).
         A STERN DENIAL:  According to a report in Sunday's N.Y.
    DAILY NEWS, Stern will not leave his job "to take a job heading
    up the Olympics."  Mitch Lawrence notes that Stern is very
    committed to taking the NBA global, "so who needs the Olympics,
    anyway?" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NHL
  • NHL AND NHLPA ANNOUNCE "MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING"; GAME ON!

         NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
    Goodenow jointly announced Friday that the players had ratified
    the labor agreement by a majority vote and that the season would
    begin January 20.  Bettman noted that the signed agreement is
    "more of a memorandum of understanding."  A number of issues have
    to be worked out before a formal CBA is signed, but as Bettman
    noted, the deal  "will keep the game going" (Len Hochberg,
    WASHINGTON POST, 1/14).  Although a formal tally of the NHLPA
    vote was not released, Goodenow said an estimated 85% voted in
    favor of ratification (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 1/14).
    Goodenow "rejected the notion that the union" lost:  "Players are
    happy with the results in the context of the whole agreement.
    Sure, we made some concessions, but that's part of any
    negotiating process" (Helene Elliott, L.A.TIMES, 1/14).
         "GAME ON":  At the CBA announcement, both Bettman and
    Goodenow donned black hats with the league's "Game On" logo (Jim
    Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/14).  NHL COO Stephen Solomon on the
    slogan, taken from "Wayne's World," which will be used in TV,
    print and radio ads:  "We think this sets the right tone for
    fans."  Starter will begin sellling NHL/"Game On" apparel.  Among
    other promotions, Anheuser-Busch is reprinting nearly one million
    NHL team schedules -- stamped with "Game On" -- to promote Ice
    Draft.  Nike does not plan any hockey advertising until the
    playoffs (Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, 1/16).  AD AGE reports that
    "talks are under way" with Michael Myers of Wayne's World about
    an "expanded role" in NHL marketing (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 1/16
    issue).  Despite word that Fox was "not optimistic" it would
    promo the NHL during the Cowboys-49ers NFC Championship game on
    Sunday, Fox managed to get an "Fox NHL Sunday" spot in between
    the end of the game and the start of "The Simpsons" (THE DAILY).
         JOB WELL DONE?  While players will receive only 59% of their
    salaries for '94-95, NHLPA President Mike Gartner said Goodenow
    will get a raise (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 1/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Dallas Cowboys, Leagues and Governing Bodies, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Nike, San Francisco 49ers
  • POST-LOCKOUT FALLOUT FROM 10 NHL CITIES

         BUFFALO:  Empire Sports Network will televise 46 of the
    Sabres 48 games, the most games ever carried on the regional
    sports network.  The remaining two games will appear on Fox's
    national broadcast, and WUTV-TV will simulcast 10 regular-season
    games and all playoff games (Empire).
         DALLAS:  Home Sports Entertainment will televise 19 regular-
    season Stars games (HSE).
         CHICAGO:  Chris Chelios and the Blackhawks do not think the
    NHL will penalize Chelios for his comments threatening
    Commissioner Bettman (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 1/15).     LOS
    ANGELES:  In summing up the financial losses incurred by the
    Kings and the Mighty Ducks, Thomas Mulligan writes that the Kings
    "didn't have as much to lose," but the Ducks "should recover much
    faster."  The Kings' lost revenues are estimated at $10M, but
    salary savings of $9M make the overall loss nearly a "wash."  The
    Ducks lost revenues are estimated at $12.75M, but lower salaries
    bring their total losses to about $6M (L.A. TIMES, 1/16).
         MONTREAL:  Canadiens President Ronald Corey sold 12,000
    Class-A non-voting shares in Molson Companies, the owner of the
    team, worth C$223,875 at the "height" of the lockout in December
    (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 1/14).
         NEW YORK:  Assessing the Rangers after the lockout, Joe
    Lapointe writes that the relationship between Rangers President &
    GM and new MSG President Dave Checketts "may be even more complex
    and perplexing" than Mark Messier's situation.  Lapointe notes it
    was Checketts and a Garden lawyer that attended the "crucial"
    January 7 Board meeting.  Smith's absence "had to create obvious
    questions in [his NHL peers'] minds" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/15)....Mark
    Everson sees Messier's looming salary dispute as a key post-deal
    test for the NHL and the union  (N.Y. POST, 1/16).  Messier
    appeared on "Letterman" Friday and raised the Stanley Cup banner
    in the studio ("Late Night," CBS, 1/13).
         PHILADELPHIA:  Les Bowen of the DAILY NEWS calls Flyers
    Owner Ed Snider a "winner" because of the "way he handled" the
    lockout (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/13).
         TORONTO:  Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. says its pretax income was
    reduced by about C$8.5M as a result of the work stoppage (Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL, 1/14)....Ken Baumgartner, who served on the union
    negotiating committee with teammate/NHLPA Pres Mike Gartner:  "In
    the old days in the wrong city, Garts and I would be moving to
    another team today.  But this is a first-class organization and
    there'll be no strong-arm tactics" (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN,
    1/14).    VANCOUVER:  Canuck Owner Arthur Griffiths said he voted
    "no" on the players' last offer because the deal could have
    "severely affected the control of the club":  "I'm not saying I
    would have lost control of the club, but I'd have had to borrow
    more and pledge more security."  The Canucks are collateral for
    the $163M GM Place that will house Griffiths' Grizzlies (Iain
    MacIntyre, VANCOUVER SUN, 1/14).
         WASHINGTON:  Capitals VP of Marketing Lew Strudler said the
    team plans to advertise on local broadcast outlets and in
    newspapers and magazines, as well as Metrobuses.  Strudler added
    that the Capitals have hired a full-time staffer to work on
    "presentation" of the game, including music and bands (Athelia
    Knight, WASHINGTON POST, 1/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Anaheim Sports, Buffalo Sabres, Cablevision, CBS, Chicago Blackhawks, Comcast-Spectacor, Dallas Stars, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Madison Square Garden, Montreal Canadiens, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Philadelphia Flyers, Southwest Sports Group, Vancouver Canucks, Viacom, Walt Disney, Washington Capitals
  • THE GROWTH OF NASCAR VS. ITS TRADITIONAL BASE

         "NASCAR these days is a boom town on the frontier of
    American sport.  Everyone is making money -- drivers, car owners,
    track operators," according to Sunday's RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH.
    Ben Blake writes, "The NASCAR boom began with corporate
    involvement in the mid-1980s and today is at critical mass,
    bursting at the seams with loot for all comers."  The two "hot
    spots" for NASCAR now are Southern CA and Dallas-Ft. Worth.  But,
    NASCAR is "torn between its allegiances with its traditional
    tracks and its desire to expand" into new markets (RICHMOND
    TIMES-DISPATCH, 1/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NASCAR
  • THE HOCKEY MINOR LEAGUES AT THEIR ALL-STAR BREAKS

         The AHL's first All-Star game since December 1959 takes
    place tonight at the Providence Civic Center, while the IHL plays
    its All-Star Game tomorrow in Las Vegas.  The AHL game will be
    televised at 8:00pm EST on ESPN2.  AHL President Dave Andrews:
    "We created a strategy for the next few years to increase the
    profile of the league" (Judy Van Handle, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/15).  In
    Milwaukee, Mike Hart takes a look at the IHL's progress.  IHL
    Commissioner Bob Ufer:  "Our ticket prices are extremely popular.
    The NHL can't tough that" (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 1/17).
    

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