SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL GETS BACK TO BUSINESS

         Baseball's owners and players agreed to a set of back-to-
    work rules, with "one possible hitch" -- the owners are seeking a
    stay of the injunction issued Friday.  Both sides were reluctant
    to comment on the possibility of the stay being issued (Murray
    Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 4/4).
         BACK TO THE TABLE, ANYTIME SOON?  In Chicago, Jerome
    Holtzman writes "it will be six months, possibly longer" before
    the owners return to the table.  Holtzman predicts no talks until
    Christmas, at which point the owners will "take another stab at
    an impasse and attempt to implement their original proposals."
    The owners will also replace their bargaining team with
    "professional negotiators, along with a sprinkling of hard-line
    attorneys" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/4).  In Houston, Alex Truex
    reports chief management attorney Chuck O'Connor "apparently
    [has] fallen out of favor" with acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig
    (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/2). MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr, on CNBC's
    "Business Insiders" last night:  "If it were entirely up to me, I
    would try to get it done before the regular season starts, but we
    will just have to see what type of schedule the clubs will want
    to go on."  Fehr on whether the strike was worth it:  "I don't
    think the players had any choice" (CNBC, 4/3).  Braves President
    Stan Kasten: "No one wants to hear this, but I really feel we're
    no more than midway toward solving the problem" (Tim Tucker,
    ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/4).  Harvard Law Professor Paul Weiler:
    "The reality is that both sides are an awful lot closer together
    than they were in August. ... The owners did not appreciate the
    fact that it took them 20 months to work out their positions and
    they gave the players two months to cut a deal" (Murray Chass,
    N.Y. TIMES, 4/4).
         STOP THE INSANITY:  While Orioles Owner Peter Angelos said
    there is sentiment on both sides for a no-strike, no-
    implementation agreement, he added it may not be necessary.
    Angelos:  "I don't think the players will go out, and I don't
    think the owners will provoke them to go out.  But if something
    more formal can be worked out, that can't hurt" (Mark Maske,
    WASHINGTON POST, 4/4).  Phillies President Bill Giles:  "The odds
    of another work stoppage are slim to none" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
    4/3).  ESPN's Peter Gammons: "I don't believe the players will
    strike again, unless the owners implement some sort of system
    during the season" ("Baseball Tonight," 4/3).  CNN's Mark Morgan:
    "Baseball fans must temper their enthusiasm with this reality.
    The owners and players have been at odds since the mid-70's, and
    there is no guarantee that the '95 season will be played without
    another work stoppage" ("Sports Tonight," 4/3).
         BRAVE NEW WORLD:  In Boston, Steve Fainaru writes, "Baseball
    woke up to a dark new era yesterday ... The easy money that began
    to flow in the 1980s, causing salaries to soar, has been shut off
    by angry broadcasters, sponsors and fans who once enriched
    baseball because of its place in America" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/4).
    Agent Tony Attanasio  complained that GM's had a "party line" on
    free agents.  Attanasio:  "I hadn't even asked for a nickel,
    hadn't even put a proposal on the table, and I was being told I'm
    asking too much.  The clubs have their script and some of it may
    be realistic, but I also think it's punishment time for the
    players" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 4/4).  ESPN's "Cover Story" --
     "Damaged Goods" -- examined the future of baseball in the
    American consciousness.  ESPN's Charley Steiner: "The 'Lords of
    the Realm' cannot be too happy about the harm done to the game
    and the product by the 234-day strike."  Steiner noted the
    revenue losses:  MLB Properties saw a decrease of $400M or 16%;
    TV revenues took "a major hit in '94, as MLB was the only league
    that had TV revenues go down -- and the prospects for this year
    are at best, uncertain."
                NEW CONTRACT   CHANGE FROM '94
         NHL       $44M           +88%
         NBA       $275M          +20%
         NFL       $1.10B         +18%
         MLB       $77.5M         -79% due to strike, fewer
                                  games and ad dollars
         Steiner concluded by noting what is more difficult to gauge
    is the long-range damage done to the game, as baseball
    "irretrievably lost its appeal to the kids of America, who are
    now more inclined to kick soccer balls, or shoot basketballs,
    than they are to try and hit home runs.  After all, an average
    eighth grader has lived through five work stoppages in his life"
    ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 4/3).
         QUOTES OF NOTE:  Angelos, profiled on PBS' "Here and Now":
    "There is room for new people to come in and try to bring this
    disharmonious situation to an end.  It is bordering on the
    ludicrous for grown men and women to be fighting like this" (PBS,
    4/3)....David Letterman: "I don't understand this.  They stop the
    strike over the weekend.  The regular season doesn't start until
    April 26 and yet somehow the Mets are already 15 games out of
    first place" ("Late Show," CBS, 4/3).... ESPN's Karl Ravech,
    noting Lou Whitaker's comment that the fans will forgive ("It is
    just like a man and a women.  Maybe we will send a few flowers"):
    "Other players seem to have a better grasp of the bitterness that
    now exists toward the game" ("Baseball Tonight," 4/3). ....Former
    Blue Jays President Peter Bavasi:  "The one clear winner is the
    big market teams, the high revenue teams" ("Business Insiders,"
    CNBC, 4/3)....CBS' Richard Threlkeld: "As for the Fans, they
    weren't exactly knocking down doors today to buy season tickets"
    ("Evening News," 4/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, CBS, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NBA, New York Mets, NFL, NHL, Philadelphia Phillies, Time Warner, Toronto Blue Jays, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • INDY RACING SERIES NAMES PHOENIX, LAS VEGAS AS SITES

         The Indy Racing League named the Phoenix Int'l Raceway and a
    yet-to-be completed track in Las Vegas as the third and fourth
    sites of its upcoming series.  The I.R.L., a competitor to the
    IndyCar circuit, will begin the '96 season on a new 1.1 mile oval
    at Disney World in Orlando and will include the Indy 500 on the
    schedule (AP/N.Y. TIMES, 4/4).
    

    Print | Tags: IndyCar, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Walt Disney
  • NBA SEASON DRAWS TO A CLOSE WITH LITTLE MOVEMENT ON NEW CBA

         The NBPA's latest proposal would raise the NBA's salary cap
    from $15.9M to close to $27M and would drop the union's "take of
    revenues" from 57.5% last year to 50%.  The "addition through
    subtraction" is made possible in "defined gross revenues, which
    are the launching pad for the present cap."  The "key is what
    gets defined," writes Steve Bulpett of the BOSTON HERALD.
    Currently, ownership doesn't figure in the income from luxury
    suites, arena signage, and int'l broadcasting.  Those were "in
    effect, tax free stashes for the league."  Bulpett reports the
    new proposal also calls for a three-year limit on rookie
    contracts, and an end to restricted free agency.  NBPA Exec Dir
    Charles Grantham: "It's time to look at the entire playing field.
    If we're truly partners, let's split it down the middle.  If you
    look at the defined gross we had before, it allows for temptation
    to shift funds from one account to another. ... Teams may not
    have intended to do that, but it happened" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/2).
    NBA officials are "discouraged" by the latest proposal.  NBA
    Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik said the issue is "what should
    the business appropriately play the players": "Obviously, we
    think we have been paying out a very fair proportion" (David
    Moore, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/2). In Chicago, Lacy Blanks writes
    that Michael Jordan's return provides some "optimism."  Hawks
    Guard Steve Smith:  "Surely (owners) wouldn't lock out a Michael
    Jordan" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Time Warner
  • NEW YORK GAY GAMES ORGANIZERS "STRUGGLING" TO PAY OFF DEBT

         Vendors and merchants are waiting on organizers of last
    year's Gay Games in New York for "about a half-million dollars
    owed by the organizers," according to the N.Y. POST.  The Games
    brought an estimated $400M-$450M to the city's economy, more than
    double what the World Cup brought in for the same week, according
    to the city's comptroller.  Ian Gazes, the Games' organizing
    group's lawyer, says they failed to make the money expected from
    things like licencing fees and souvenirs (Bryna Taubman, N.Y.
    POST, 4/4).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • RECORD NUMBERS SEE AZTECAS; CBA SETS NEW REGULAR-SEASON MARK

         The CBA Mexico Aztecas recently set a new single game record
    for attendance attracting a crowd of 12,587 during a game against
    the Omaha Racers.  The league has also established a new mark for
    regular season attendance this year with an average of 3,767 per
    game.  The clubs which have attracted over 100,000:  Rapid City
    (149,609), Sioux Falls (147,180), Mexico (144,761), Oklahoma City
    (133,540), Quad City (121,260), Tri-City (119,493), Fort Wayne
    (111,249), Chicago (105,434), and Yakima (103,990) (CBA).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
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