SBD/19/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • AMERICANS NOT OVERFLOWING WITH CFL ENTHUSIASM

         Season ticket sales for US-based CFL clubs are down,
    according to Mike Ganter in this morning's TORONTO SUN.  Ganter
    took a survey of the five American teams and found "some scary
    numbers."  A sampling: In San Antonio, the Texans, fresh from
    their move from Sacramento, have sold only 1,500 season tickets.
    The two expansion franchises -- Birmingham and Memphis -- are
    only at 2,000 and 7,500 respectively.  Ganter reports that "even
    the Baltimore CFLers, coming off a Grey Cup appearance" are down
    6,000 this season from last year's 26,000 (TORONTO SUN, 5/19).
    

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  • BASEBALL MAY AVOID COURT, MAKE DEAL TO PLAY COMPLETE SEASON

         Baseball's owners and players "say a deal might be struck
    within the next day or two," to settle the NLRB's labor practice
    complaint against the owners, which could "ensure" the '95 season
    is played to its conclusion, according to Mark Maske in this
    morning's WASHINGTON POST.  Maske reports that the players "could
    agree to a no-strike pledge in return for a promise by the owners
    that they won't attempt to declare an impasse in negotiations and
    unilaterally impose terms of employment through a certain date."
    If the two sides fail to settle, they must appear in court Monday
    before an NLRB judge to begin a trial.  Owners Negotiating
    Committee Chair John Harrington: "I think everybody knows it's in
    management's and the union's best interests to get that done"
    (WASHINGTON POST, 5/19).
    

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  • TREATISE ON BASEBALL FROM POSSIBLE COMMISSIONER-TO-BE

         In the current issue of THE SPORTING NEWS, Paul Kirk, former
    Chair of the Democratic National Committee and a possible
    candidate for the MLB Commissioner's job, outlines his vision for
    long-term stability and labor peace between owners and players.
    Kirk calls it "Baseball's Declaration of INTERdependence."
         ARTICLE I -- MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITIES:  Kirk calls on both
    sides to take mutual responsibility for "earning and maintaining
    the public's confidence in the integrity, certainty, quality,
    value and values of baseball and for passing it on to future
    generations improved because of our stewardship."  To do so, Kirk
    suggests a pledge that play never be disrupted because of a
    strike, lockout or boycott.
         ARTICLE II -- RECONCILIATION:  An acknowledgement of joint
    responsibility for shortening the '94 and '95 seasons, and an
    apology to all those affected.
         ARTICLE III -- SHARED VISION OF THE BUSINESS:  Baseball's
    economic future "lies neither in the absolute control owners held
    in the past nor the unbridled freedom players seek for the
    future. ... The best business practices of baseball include
    enlightened collective leadership, strategic and worldwide
    vision, budgetary discipline, pragmatic business planning,
    predictable revenues and expenses, prudent franchise location,
    strong player development, positive cash flows and returns on
    investment, rewarding broadcast compacts, open and accurate
    accounting, talented and accountable executives, modern and
    creative marketing, merchandising and licensing, good faith
    bargaining, credible public relations, imaginative kid, fan,
    community and global outreach."  Kirk notes the negative impact
    of "competitive imbalance" between high- and low-revenue teams
    and calls for a system that "fairly remedies this problem."  Kirk
    writes that a "product can be successfully marketed once the
    negative factors consumers associate with it are identified and
    eliminated."
         ARTICLE IV -- THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUST:  A change from
    "animosity to alliance, from recrimination to reconciliation,
    from 'us vs. them' to 'Us' will take time.  We acknowledge, as
    well, that there is little time."
         ARTICLE V -- FORWARD-LOOKING GOVERNANCE:  Kirk calls for a
    "good-faith solicitation" of input from the players on business
    and governance issues that affect them.  In addition, the credo -
    - "best interests of baseball" -- should remain as the "governing
    tenet for all future independent commissioners."
         ARTICLE VI -- DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE:  The players
    and owners should publicly declare that they are in a common
    enterprise with "fans, sponsors, staff, media, host cities and
    public authorities, umpires, merchandisers, vendors,
    concessionaires, suppliers, minor leaguers, and all other
    constituencies."  Kirk also calls for the final edition of the
    declaration, which would serve as a preamble to a new collective
    bargaining agreement, to be published in every program in every
    MLB ballpark (SPORTING NEWS, 5/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Vulcan Ventures
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