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Within the next month, MLB is expected to announce Coors Field as its site for the '98 All-Star Game (USA TODAY, 5/26)....Visions USA has been "drafted" by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO, to produce a three-day celebration in October honoring the 75th anniversary of the leagues' founding (ADWEEK, 5/22)....At least half of MLB owners "are in favor of an in-house, revenue-sharing plan that does not include concessions from the union," according to Hal Bodley in this morning's USA TODAY. This will be discussed when owners meet June 5-8 to "map strategy" for talk on a new CBA (USA TODAY, 5/26).
IHL Commissioner Bob Ufer said his league has a "tremendous interest" in Canada and wants to establish a "Canadian Conference anchored by a franchise in Toronto," according to this morning's Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Ufer's remarks seem to contradict "earlier reports that stated the IHL, in awarding franchises, would reject a Canadian city with a population under 700,000." William Houston writes that the IHL "could be the salvation for Canadian markets, such as Quebec, which cannot support" NHL teams. Ufer sees other potential cities in Saskatoon, and "perhaps Hamilton" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/26). Richard Adler, Co-Owner and President of the IHL Atlanta Knights said an NHL team in Atlanta would not force them to leave. Although the Knights loses their hockey "exclusivity" in the Omni after '95-96, the team has a lease to play there through '96-97. But Adler said sharing the facility with an NHL team "doesn't work" (Tim Tucker, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/26).
Eleven women were named yesterday to play for the U.S. Women's National Basketball Team, "a $3 million experience to win gold at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics." The team will train together for a year rather than the traditional three months (Debbie Becker, USA TODAY, 5/26). The team will be sponsored by Champion Products, and marketed by the NBA. In Philadelphia, Diane Pucin writes on the pressure facing the team: "No gold medal and this will be a failure. The sponsors will probably never come back for another try, and even with a gold medal, there's no guarantee that a professional league will follow" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 5/26). NEW LEAGUE: "Another attempt at a women's professional basketball league was launched" yesterday with the first full season targeted for next year. The Women's Major Basketball League will be based in Nashville, and The Institute of Professional Athletics will handle the initial stages of the league's formation. The WMBL plans exhibition games this fall (AP/ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/26).