SBD/31/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         MLB announced yesterday that Thursday's expansion committee
    meeting scheduled for Chicago has been relocated to Washington to
    accommodate Red Sox CEO John Harrington and Braves President Stan
    Kasten, both members of the expansion committee.  The committee
    is expected to recommend a price for the first two new
    franchises, but they will not release a preference order of the
    four finalists: Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa Bay and No. VA (Bill
    Chastain, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/31).
         TAMPA BAY -- WHAT'S IN A NAME?  If Tampa Bay is approved as
    an expansion city, the team probably won't be called the Thunder,
    Tarpons or Thunderbolts -- the three top names suggested the last
    time Tampa made an expansion bid.  Two entrepreneurs, Teresa
    deArrigoitia and Tony Karcher, have registered those names with
    the FL Secretary of the State for $87.50 per name.  If expansion
    is approved next month, the bidding groups will have to decide on
    a name and logo by the March 8 owners' meeting.  Tampa Bay
    expansion head Vince Naimoli has said he would avoid trademarked
    names in selecting the team's name (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/31).
         NORTHERN VA:  U.S. Rep. Tom Davis has asked the leaders of
    the two "increasingly combative groups seeking" an expansion team
    to meet with one another, perhaps this week.  Davis and the
    leaders of the two No. VA groups, telecom exec Bill Collins and
    attorney Bart Fisher, declined to discuss the purpose of the
    meeting, "but it appears some local government officials would
    like the two groups to combine" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,
         ORLANDO:  Last week, developer Norton Herrick released the
    list of minority investors helping to bring a franchise to the
    Orlando area.  In addition to Herrick, Rockies General Counsel
    Paul Jacobs and Denver financial adviser Steve Kurtz are general
    partners.  Local minority partners:  businesspersons David
    Siegel, Joanne McLendon, Paul Mears; physicians Tom Winers,
    Pevecca Moroose and Roy Ambinder; and attorney Ruion Munns.
    Also:  The Sports Authority Chair Jack Smith, real estate
    investors Robert Harmon and Ken Raznick, Herrick family members,
    Rosalind Robbins and William Richards, as well as Marc Sinensky,
    Exec VP of Herrick's Boca Raton company (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/27).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, The Sports Authority

         Members of the MLBPA and the owners' negotiating committee
    are all headed back to Washington.  Separate meetings with
    Special Mediator Bill Usery are scheduled for today, while face-
    to-face talks begin tomorrow.  President Clinton has set a
    February 6 deadline for a settlement, or something close to it.
    If not, then he will ask Usery to recommend a solution.  The
    MLBPA will also hold an executive board meeting where they "could
    vote to lift the month-old freeze on signing contracts."  There
    is the possibility that an extended freeze on signings "could
    disadvantage players by creating an instant talent glut when it
    is lifted" (Peter Schmuck, Baltimore SUN, 1/31).  Meanwhile, the
    owners are expected to draw up a new proposal for the Wednesday
    talks.  Brewers VP/General Counsel Wendy Selig-Prieb:  "I'm not
    going to speculate on what we may or may not do.  We've had some
    general discussions, but we'll use the best part of (Tuesday) to
    work that out" (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 1/31).
         REFINED OFFER: In Denver, Tracy Ringolsby speculates that
    the owners are expected to extend unrestricted free agency to any
    players with five years of service, but eliminate arbitration by
    creating right-of-first-refusal free agency for players with more
    than four years of service but less than five (ROCKY MOUNTAIN
    NEWS, 1/31).
         DON'T RUMINATE, LEGISLATE!  Rep. John LaFalce (D-NY),
    introduced a measure that would establish a national commission
    with the authority to settle the strike and regulate baseball.
    It would be called the National Commission on Professional
    Baseball (Mult., 1/31).  NY Assemblyman Richard Brodsky will
    introduce a bill today to prevent the Mets and Yankees from
    playing games with replacement players in Shea and Yankee
    Stadiums, bar the teams from advertising replacement games as
    "major league," and require cable companies to refund money for
    replacements games televised (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 1/31).
         ECONOMIC IMPACT:  CNN's "Moneyline" profiled the economic
    impact of replacement players on Florida spring training cities.
    CNN's Lou Dobbs said both FL and AZ stand to lose $300M if the
    regular players don't take the field.  One example: Yankee ticket
    sales for spring training in Ft. Lauderdale are down 80% from one
    year ago.  Fort Myers Mayor Wilbur Smith on the estimated $30M
    his city will lose with replacement baseball:  "It's something
    that Florida's very dependent on at the tail end of the tourist
    season, so even if they open with replacement players, it's going
    to take a big bite out of the economy" ("MoneyLine," CNN, 1/30).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, New York Yankees

         John Walker, a former researcher for the NFLPA, was arrested
    by the FBI on a charge of embezzling more than $50,000 of the
    union's funds.  Walker was arrested around kickoff time on Super
    Bowl Sunday, although FBI Special Agent Daniel Bradley said the
    timing was "coincidental."  The funds in question "came from fees
    for processing applications from sports agents seeking to be
    accredited by the [NFLPA] or have their accreditation renewed."
    NFLPA Asst Exec Dir Doug Allen confirmed last week that Walker
    was fired, but would not say why (AP/N.Y. TIMES, 1/31).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies

         MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg is reportedly interested in
    expanding into Toronto with a franchise that would play at the
    SkyDome.  Rothenberg has sent representatives to Toronto to speak
    with Richard Peddie, former President of the SkyDome, who is
    helping put together Sports Co., a corporation "that eventually
    will run the Blue Jays, Argonauts, the SkyDome and possibly
    Toronto's soccer franchise in MLS."  Peddie  "has made it clear"
    to MLS that Sports Co. "would be interested only in a Canadian
    team and claims he has the moral support of the Canadian Soccer
    Association" (George Gross, TORONTO STAR, 1/27).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS, Toronto Blue Jays

         In Toronto, Alan Adams writes that International Ice Hockey
    Federation (IIHF) President Rene Fasel "admits his error" by not
    receiving "the blessing" of NHLPA Dir Bob Goodenow before
    negotiating a contract between the IIHF and the NHL, providing
    NHL participation in the '98 Winter Games.  Fasel:  "I thought if
    I signed an agreement with the NHL, it was quite clear, but we
    forgot how strong the NHLPA is.  That was a mistake but I accept
    it."  Fasel met with Goodenow this past weekend and will continue
    discussions at the joint NHL-IIHF working committee meeting
    tomorrow in Naples, FL (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/31).
         PENSIONS:  A court approved increased monthly payments to
    former NHL players already receiving pension checks, as part of
    the "complex legal process" to distribute millions in
    "misappropriated league pension funds."  Players will receive a
    60% increase of an approximate final sum yet to be "legally
    finalized" (Mary Ormsby, TORONTO STAR, 1/31).
         CORRECTION:  A report from Canada's FINANCIAL POST carried
    in THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY last week incorrectly reported the
    NHL's expenditures on its "Game On" media campaign.  The league
    says that it is spending around $1 million on the "Game On"

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
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