SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • AFL DROPS SALARY CAP IN FAVOR OF PAYROLL TAX

         The Arena Football League announced yesterday it will
    eliminate its salary cap and replace it with "the first player
    'payroll tax' in American sports history."  AFL Commissioner
    James Drucker:  "The payroll tax helps solve the dilemma faced by
    all leagues -- how to dramatically increase player salaries
    without forcing teams in small markets out of business because
    teams in large cities can generate more revenue -- from
    sponsorships and ticket sales -- than teams in smaller cities."
    A.C. Nielsen ranks the 13 AFL markets between No. 5 (San Jose)
    and 73 (Des Moines) in terms of TV homes.  The tax is funded by
    teams, not players.  The program requires teams to pay a 40% tax
    on player salaries over $240,000 with funds divided among teams
    below the $240,000 level.  Drucker maintains the tax will benefit
    AFL players, fans and teams:  "The tax eliminated the salary cap
    so large market teams can sign better players by increasing their
    salaries and the tax redistributes money within the league to
    strengthen small market teams" (AFL).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Nielsen
  • NBPA VP SAYS LEAGUE AND PLAYERS "VERY CLOSE" TO A DEAL

         NBPA VP Charles Smith told the N.Y. POST's Peter Vecsey that
    he believes the union and the NBA are "very close" to an
    agreement on a new CBA.  Smith:  "In fact, I think it already
    would have been settled and signed had there been more pressure
    to get it done by a certain deadline."  While Smith attributed
    some of the delay to the time constraints on player reps during
    the season, Vecsey notes that NBPA President Buck Williams (whose
    Blazers trail the Suns, 2-0) "could be freed up real soon for
    full-time negotiations."
         WHERE DO THEY STAND?  A recent union memo noted the players'
    acceptance of a cap and the league's acceptance of a one-round
    draft.  Still, NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik noted there
    are "some very, very important issues still to resolve."  On the
    table, according to Smith:  The level and flexibility of the cap;
    revenue-sharing (the players want a 50-50 split of "everything");
    division of merchandise sales; and, the "Larry Bird exception,"
    which allows a team to re-sign its players at any cost.  On the
    properties split, the owners are offering a guarantee of $75M
    over the next three years, while the players want 40% of all
    revenue from logo and player likeness merchandise and a guarantee
    of $50M/year through 2002.  Smith called the Bird rule the
    "toughest issue of them all."  While the players would prefer the
    status quo, Vecsey reports the owners "either want to phase out
    the exception or limit it so that it's not totally open ended"
    (N.Y. POST, 5/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Phoenix Suns
  • ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO: MLB, UMPS REACH LABOR PEACE

         The American and National Leagues and the MLBUA announced
    yesterday that they had reached agreement on a five-year CBA
    ending the lockout.  Highlights of the deal, as listed in the
    joint release (AL/NL/MLBUA):
         -- Salary structure increase to range of $75-225,000
              -- All umpires receive $20,000 post-season bonus
              -- Umpires who work All-Star Game will receive an
                   additional $5,000
              -- Umpires who work Division Series will receive an
                   additional $12,500
              -- Umpires who work League Championship Series will
         receive an additional $15,000
              -- Umpires who work World Series will receive an
                   additional $17,500
              -- Per diem increased to $220, with cost of living
                   adjustments in subsequent years
              -- The deal is good through December 31, 1999
              -- Umpires return to work Wednesday, May 3, 1995
              OFFICIALS SALARIES IN THE FOUR MAJOR LEAGUES:
                   LEAGUE      LOW          HIGH
                    MLB      $75,000      $225,000
                    NBA       67,000       177,000
                    NHL       35,000       181,000
                    NFL       30,800        68,000  (ESPN, 5/1).
         REAX FROM BOTH SIDES:  MLBUA General Counsel Richie
    Phillips:  "This is an agreement in which everybody won.  The
    Leagues have ensured five years of labor peace with the umpires,
    and from the umpires' point of view, the economic advances we
    felt we needed are included."  AL President Gene Budig:  "The
    agreement passes the test of fairness and we are pleased to have
    the entire Major League Baseball family back in place"
    (AL/NL/MLBUA).  MLBUA President Jerry Crawford, on the players'
    support: "They did us a real service by going in and playing,
    they showed what we were worth, and it meant a lot"
    ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 5/1).
         MEDIA REAX:  In Chicago, Dave Van Dyk writes, "It may be one
    month late, but baseball has total peace and all the real pieces
    back" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/2).  In Atlanta, Thomas Stinson
    notes, "The union settled for less than the 47 percent raises it
    sought but gained substantially on postseason renumeration"
    (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/2).  In Philadelphia, Jayson Stark
    writes that baseball profits by creating "an incentive system
    that will reward umpires who do the best work with a new tier of
    bonuses" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/2).  Management put the
    overall pay hike at 16%, but Murray Chass notes, "individually,
    umpires could do much better."  In fact, 30-year veteran Harry
    Wendelstedt could earn a maximum of $282,500, a 37% raise (N.Y.
    TIMES, 5/2).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Walt Disney
  • THE MIAMI SNOWBIRDS? CFL LOOKS FOR SOUTH FLORIDA FOOTHOLD

         CFL Commissioner Larry Smith "will be flying to Miami today
    in hopes of working out details that will establish a new
    franchise in the Florida city in time for the 1996 season,"
    according to Marty York in this morning's Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.
    But the proposed move into an NFL city has some CFL officials
    concerned.  One CFL GM:  "If we go into Miami, the NFL would
    obviously have a clear conscience coming into Toronto or
    Vancouver."  Smith is scheduled to meet with FL Gov. Lawton
    Chiles, Miami Mayor Steve Clark, Orange Bowl officials and
    assorted marketing execs.  Bruce Frey, a real estate investor who
    was outbid for control of the Dolphins by Wayne Huizenga, has the
    option of buying the now-defunct Las Vegas Posse for $2.5M or a
    new expansion franchise for more than $3M.  Accompanying Smith on
    the trip will be Calgary Stampeder owner Larry Ryckman.
    According to Ryckman: "I think Bruce Frey would be an excellent
    owner in our League."  The CFL hopes to formally announce the
    addition of a franchise in Miami on June 24 during an Orange Bowl
    exhibition game between the Birmingham Barracudas and the
    Baltimore CFL team (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/2).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Miami Dolphins, NFL
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