SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 169: CLINTON TAKES A SWING

         President Clinton stepped into the middle of the baseball's
    labor dispute, setting a February 6 deadline for a settlement,
    "or something close to one."  If one cannot be reached, "Clinton
    threatened government action to force a settlement."  Clinton,
    citing the potential economic impact on major league cities,
    ordered Special Mediator William Usery to bring the parties back
    to the bargaining table to try to reach an agreement.  Face-to-
    face negotiations are scheduled to resume Wednesday in
    Washington.  Labor Secretary Robert Reich: "We're turning up the
    heat. ... The  President is intent on getting the parties back to
    the bargaining table and getting this solved."  If there is no
    agreement, Clinton said he might ask Usery to recommend terms of
    a settlement, but that recommendation would not be binding (Maske
    & Swoboda, WASHINGTON POST, 1/27).  But MLB General Counsel Chuck
    O'Connor notes that the recommended settlement could be woven
    into legislation in a manner by which the railroad dispute was
    settled last year (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 1/27).  Clinton was
    interviewed by NBC's Tom Brokaw.  Excerpts appeared on both the
    "NBC Nightly News" and the "Today" show this morning.  Clinton
    again stressed the economic impact of the strike (NBC, 1/26-27).
         REACTIONS:  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig:  "I want to
    express to the President our appreciation for his  interest and
    concern in settling the players' strike" (MLB). MLBPA Exec Dir
    Donald Fehr:  "A statement like that certainly focuses efforts
    and reminds people that time is slipping by" (WASHINGTON POST,
    1/27).  Red Sox CEO John Harrington:  "It shows that there is
    tremendous national interest in resolving this dispute"
    ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/27).  One MLB exec:  "It sounds to me
    like a good speech, but not much beyond that" (TORONTO STAR,
    1/27).
         MORE POLITICS:  Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole addressed
    the strike on the Senate floor. CNN's Wolf Blitzer: "Some are
    suggesting [Dole and Clinton] seem to be competing who can get
    more actively involved and score some political points" ("Inside
    Politics," CNN, 1/26).  Dole offered his office as a negotiation
    site (Mult., 1/27).
    

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  • THE REPLACEMENT POLICY IN BASEBALL: A LOOK AROUND THE LEAGUE

         THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY contacted every MLB team regarding
    their ticket policy for the '95 season.  Most teams have offered
    a discount in the case of replacement players being used to start
    the season. The A's have offered perhaps the most dramatic offer,
    cutting ticket prices up to 78% for every home game in April,
    even if a labor deal is reached.  As of yesterday, 14 teams have
    not released a policy:  Angels, Astros, Blue Jays, Cubs, Expos,
    Indians, Mariners, Mets, Padres, Royals, Rockies, Tigers, Twins,
    and White Sox.  Below is a list of those teams that have plans:
         ATHLETICS: The A's will cut prices up to 78% for home games
    in April, regardless of whether a collective bargaining agreement
    is reached.  Prices will range from $1 to $6 for MVP seats.
    Season-ticket holders will receive an adjusted invoice or rebate
    by March 1. If there is no CBA by April 30, ticket holders will
    be able to return tickets and receive a rebate if reduced prices
    remain in effect.
         BRAVES:  Season and individual game ticket holders will have
    until April 23 to get their money back for games scheduled the
    rest of the season. If a ticket holder is unsatisfied prior to
    April 23, they may obtain a full refund for any or all unplayed
    games.  The team will also issue up to a 50% rebate on each full-
    price season or individual game ticket for any strike-affected
    games which are played.
         BREWERS: The Brewers have offered a 50% rebate on all games
    played with full replacement squads. All season ticket holders
    will be offered their money back with interest by April 30th if
    tickets holders are not satisfied.
         CARDINALS: The team will cut prices based on a salary
    formula.  Tickets will be slashed up to 50% if player salaries
    total $5M, cut 40% if payroll hits $10-15M, etc.
         DODGERS: The Dodgers announced they will reduce their ticket
    prices to 1958 levels until a CBA is reached or a representative
    number of current major leaguers return to play.  Ticket prices
    will range from $.75-$3.50, a savings of 60-75% over their '95
    ticket prices.
         GIANTS: The Giants announced ticket prices will be reduced
    by 50% if the season opens with replacements. Tickets will return
    to full-price once a CBA is reached or a representative number of
    current major-leaguers returns to play.  The Giants will offer
    half-price rebates for those who already have purchased season
    tickets.
         MARLINS:  The Marlins will charge half-price as long as
    replacement players are used, and allow season ticket holders to
    receive 100% refunds and still retain their seat.
         ORIOLES: The Orioles say they will not play with replacement
    players.  But if replacements are used, reports are they will
    allow fans to turn in tickets for refunds.   PHILLIES: Will
    reduce box seats by $5, and reserved seats by $3 for first 20
    games, regardless of the team's makeup. Discounts after the first
    20 games will be reviewed, and season-ticket holders will receive
    an adjustment.
         PIRATES: The Pirates will offer a full refund on tickets for
    any remaining home games to fans who are not satisfied with the
    baseball at any time prior to May 19.  The guaranteed offer will
    remain in effect through May 19 unless a CBA is reached or a
    representative number of current major leaguers return to play by
    that date.  If the team opens with replacements, the club will
    announce a ticket rebate pricing plan in late February.
         RANGERS: The Rangers will cut ticket prices in half if the
    team consists entirely of replacements. In the case of
    replacements, tickets will be discounted to a percentage
    determined by a formula based on player salaries.  Fans will
    continue to receive discounts until total player salaries of an
    annualized basis reach $30M or a CBA is reached, whichever comes
    first.  Rangers' season ticket holders will receive refunds or
    credits to their accounts at end of each month for any money owed
    from the discount policy.
         RED SOX: The Red Sox will have a price adjustment and
    discount policy for all tickets purchased, including season and
    individual tickets.  The team will make adjustments up to 50% of
    the printed ticket price should the team be made up entirely of
    replacement players. If fans desire full refunds, they may obtain
    them at a predetermined time prior to the playing of replacement
    games.  Red Sox GM Dan Duquette said the team in considering
    lower prices for all games early in the season, even without
    replacements.
         REDS: A team spokesperson said the tickets will remain at
    $3.50 to $11.50, the same as last year.  No changes will be made
    despite who plays.
              YANKEES: The Yankees will cut ticket prices up to 50%
    for all regular season games with replacement players.
    

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