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  • COURT SAYS COWBOYS CANNOT BLOCK WORKERS COMP FUNDS

         In Dallas, an appeals court ruled the Cowboys may not  block
    worker's compensation funds negotiated for ex-wide receiver Scott
    Ankrom, according to this morning's DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Ankrom
    injured his knee in '89 and the Cowboys claimed he was not
    permitted to "double dip," meaning be compensated twice -- in
    salary and by the insurance company.  The ruling "could undermine
    a subsequent effort by Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones to recover"
    about $1M that was awarded to 16 other former players under
    worker's comp claims or insurance settlements.  A trial court had
    originally ruled in favor of the club, awarding Jones the $26,500
    in compensation, plus attorney fees.  Jones then sued 16 other
    ex-players for similar "double dipping" complaints (Doug Bedell,
    DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Franchises
  • MSG'S PLAYOFF TICKET POLICY FOR KNICKS/RANGERS CRITICIZED

         MSG's new playoff ticket payment plan is the "most onerous
    playoff ticket deal in the long history of the Garden," writes
    Phil Mushnick in this morning's N.Y. POST.  The ITT/Cablevision
    ownership is now asking for an earlier full payment from season
    ticket holders for playoff tickets to the Rangers and the Knicks.
    MSG says it is billing "extra early as a service to fans; to
    avoid long lines at the box office ... How considerate."
    Mushnick says MSG should return money for unused playoff tickets,
    or apply the money to next year's tickets with the "appropriate
    bank interest attached; months worth of interest the Garden will
    pocket."  In other Garden news, the MSG Network has notified
    their affiliates there will be no rebate for the 35 lost Ranger
    games due to the NHL work stoppage.  Earlier, MSG Network
    President Doug Moss "promised cable systems and, by extension,
    their subscribers, a rebate based on the loss" of the games.
    Moss has since left the network.  Mushnick writes, "We don't know
    enough about ITT, but we do know that an abused consumer has long
    been Cablevision's idea of a job well done" (Phil Mushnick, N.Y.
    POST, 3/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks, NHL
  • PIRATE OWNERS TAKEN TO TASK BY LOCAL COLUMNIST

         The Pirates ownership, which bought the team in 1985, has
    "gone from the men who saved baseball for Pittsburgh to the men
    who might ruin it," writes Bob Smizik in this morning's
    PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.  The team has recently begun to
    entertain offers from out-of-state buyers, and Smizik writes that
    the owners' "intentions, once seemingly so noble, look
    significantly darker today."  He criticizes the group for taking
    on too much debt and for their slow sale of the team -- "no one
    is even certain they still want to sell," as they have become
    "excessively slow to come to agreement" with prospective buyer,
    Adelphia Communications Chair John Rigas.  Smizik: "These men
    have outlived their usefulness with the Pirates.  They should
    have gone quietly long ago" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/29).
         TICKETS, WHO NEEDS TICKETS?  The Pirates have sold 27,000
    tickets for Monday's opener against the Expos, close to 60% of
    capacity at Three Rivers Stadium.  Because of the strike, the
    team has "all but eliminated most off-season advertising," and
    did not run TV and radio ads describing their reduced ticket
    policy -- half price for their first 20 games -- until ten days
    ago (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/29).  Pittsburgh City Council
    President Jim Ferlo is calling on fans to boycott Pirates games
    as a protest to ownership's delay in selling to local buyer Rigas
    (AP, 3/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • POSSE RIDE OUT OF VEGAS WON'T REACH MISSISSIPPI

         The deal to bring the CFL's Posse from Las Vegas to Jackson,
    MS, is "dead," according to today's Vancouver PROVINCE.  On
    Tuesday, the league was making "frantic efforts" to find new
    investors, but nothing was announced. (Kent Spencer,  Vancouver
    PROVINCE, 3/29).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises
  • REPORT SAYS RAMS AND TAGLIABUE AGREE ON SHARING OF PSL MONEY

         NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Rams President John Shaw
    reached agreement Tuesday on the "sharing of funds from a seat
    license campaign in St. Louis," according to Michele Himmelberg
    in this morning's ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER.  The sharing of PSL
    revenue was a key sticking point when owners rejected the Rams
    relocation to St. Louis on March 15.  Shaw said they "have agreed
    to share those funds with some exclusions," which in turn must be
    negotiated with the NFLPA.  Shaw also said the two sides agreed
    that the Rams will pay the NFL "over the life of the seat
    licenses," rather than up front, which the league had requested.
    Himmelberg reports the sides "made no progress" on the other
    issues preventing the move -- a payment to the Fox as a rebate
    for leaving the No. 2 media market, and contributions to a NFL-
    proposed stadium renovation fund.  The two sides also extended
    their "standstill agreement" on legal action, as the Rams had the
    right to sue first if they filed by Friday.  The agreement was
    pushed back to April 17, and Shaw said they would continue to
    negotiate with Tagliabue rather than "hurrying into court"
    (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/29).  ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported
    last night on "SportsCenter" that "most league officials and
    owners concede that the Rams will eventually get their way"
    ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/28).
         HOW MUCH?  Save the Rams, the civic group in the L.A. area
    trying to keep the team, has kicked off a membership drive to
    attract local fans and businesses.  The group is asking for a $50
    membership fee and hopes to gain over 5,000 members (ORANGE
    COUNTY REGISTER, 3/29).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Franchises, News Corp./Fox, NFL, St. Louis Rams, Walt Disney
  • SENATORS TICKET POLICY A HIT WITH CORPORATE CLIENTS

         Controversy erupted yesterday over the initial sale for
    Senators' tickets for seats in the new Palladium when the team
    admitted the existence of a corporate client list that will get
    the chance to buy ahead of many long time season-ticket holders.
    Senators Senior VP Brian Ashe acknowledged the two lists, but he
    said the corporate list would be merged with the main list of
    fans who pledged $25 "long before Ottawa was awarded" an NHL
    team.  Starting today, the Senators are treating the main list
    and corporate list "equally," serving one from each, until the
    corporate list of about 300 customers is finished.  Ashe said
    they tried to use "the fairest approach," but noted the team
    "depends heavily" on corporate clients who buy ads and Palladium
    Club memberships (Michael Prentice, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 3/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NHL, Ottawa Senators
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