SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • ARENA FOOTBALL EXPANSION, NBA/NHL PARTNERSHIPS A PRIORITY

          The Arena Football League plans to expand from 13 to 16
    teams for the '96 season, according to Commissioner Jim Drucker.
    The cost of the league's next three teams will be $1M, $1.25M,
    and $1.5M.  Drucker says one focus will be to bring additional
    NBA and NHL owners into the AFL.  Teams in Arizona and St. Louis
    are owned by the Suns and Blues, respectively.  Drucker says the
    league has had meetings with nine NBA and NHL teams:  "NBA and
    NFL owners know sports marketing, know how to reach corporate
    sponsors and local TV executives and they know how to attract
    fans" (AFL).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NFL, NHL, Phoenix Suns, St. Louis Blues
  • CFL ROUND-UP: IS THE HONEYMOON OVER IN CHARM CITY?

         Jim Speros and the Baltimore CFL franchise are featured in
    this morning's Baltimore SUN, but Ken Murray writes that "beyond
    the football revival, there were problems."  Although the team
    "boasted a league leading average" of 36,377 fans/game, Murray
    reports that as may as 10,500 fans a game were given tickets free
    of charge.  In addition, despite revenues of $7.9M, Speros says
    the team lost $1.1M.  The team was also sued by two local
    companies for non-payment of bills.  Murray writes, "Those
    developments have raised doubts about the future of the team --
    and the league -- in Baltimore."  Among other obstacles, the team
    has less corporate support this season, as last year's $1.1M
    figure is only $850,000 this season.  Season tickets are only
    being renewed at 73% (Baltimore SUN, 6/1).  CFL Commissioner
    Larry Smith blamed the drop in Baltimore's season ticket sales on
    "shoddy journalism" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 6/1).  Headline over SUN
    columnist Ken Rosenthal's piece this morning: "CFL is joke, and
    even we can't laugh."  Rosenthal writes, "The simple fact is, the
    Baltimore Football Club peaked in its first year of existence.
    Sadly, this team is in trouble."  Rosenthal notes factors that
    brought success last year are "gone," calling the fight for the
    Colts name and the city's hatred of the NFL "exhausted."  He
    continues, "The ragtag CFL -- a joke.  This is the league that
    drafted a dead man.  It is also the league that tried to move a
    team to Jackson, Miss. -- and couldn't get it done" (Baltimore
    SUN, 6/1).
         RIDIN' FOR REDEMPTION:  The Ottawa Rough Riders, saved from
    extinction during the offseason, are trying to regain the trust
    of the local business community after the previous ownership's
    bankruptcy filing left creditors regaining only C$.14 on every
    dollar owed by the team.  Commissioner Smith is "confident" new
    owner Horn Chen can "quickly build back business support" (Ken
    Warren, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 6/1).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Indianapolis Colts, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL
  • MLS AIMS FOR 10-TEAM LEAGUE; ARE DENVER/DALLAS FINAL SITES?

         With less than a year from its kickoff, MLS "still has
    plenty of uncertainties.  Dallas is one of them," reports soccer-
    writer David McNabb of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  The MLS hopes to
    have a news conference next week to announce their 10-team
    league.  MLS has previously named eight teams, with Kansas City
    expected to be the ninth.  That would leave Dallas and Denver
    going for the final spot.  Both have "strong youth soccer
    programs, but neither has the 20,000-seat stadium the MLS is
    seeking."  MLS has spoken with officials at the Cotton Bowl, SMU
    and several high schools about stadium use (DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
    5/31).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS
  • NFL COMMITTEE TO MEET WITH HOLLYWOOD PARK OFFICIALS TODAY

         A "hand-picked" committee along with NFL President Neil
    Austrian will meet today with Hollywood Park officials in Denver
    to discuss plans for a new 67,500 seat stadium adjacent to the
    L.A. racetrack, according to Gordon Forbes in this morning's USA
    TODAY.  Raiders Owner Al Davis has been invited to the meeting.
    Austrian told Forbes that "the NFL favors an established NFC team
    as a co-tenant with the Raiders" at a Hollywood Park stadium.
    Forbes writes that Austrian "is convinced that Davis could co-
    exist with a second team despite his history as a maverick
    owner."  Forbes reports that Denver Owner Pat Bowlen, who is on
    the NFL's committee, "said Davis told the owners to build the
    stadium 'and then he will determine what he thinks is best for
    the Raiders.'"  Bowlen told Forbes that he agrees with Davis, and
    that "the league has to grab this opportunity to get a stadium
    built in the L.A. market."  Forbes:  "Anybody trying to predict
    Davis' next move is only kidding himself.  Davis will play
    hardball with the NFL and each of the cities [L.A., Baltimore,
    Oakland]" involved (USA TODAY, 6/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Oakland Raiders
  • PGA TOUR CHIEF FINCHEM CELEBRATES ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

         PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem's first year as head of
    the Tour is examined by John Hawkins of the WASHINGTON TIMES.
    Hawkins reflects on the challenges Finchem faced from the
    Fox/Greg Norman World Tour idea to the FTC probe.  Hawkins writes
    Finchem "has done a fine job steering this Good Ship Lollipop.
    ... Finchem is plenty sharp enough to know the Tour should be run
    from the inside out. ... Television is obviously a major piece of
    the puzzle, but as long as an individual sport like golf can give
    birth to personalities and superstars ... the
    marketing/promotions manual will write itself" (WASHINGTON TIMES,
    6/1).  Finchem also had a Q&A with the Associated Press.  On golf
    widening its fan base: "Golf is moving in the direction of being
    more accessible to more people.  There is more diversity to the
    sport.  More minorities.  More women."  On the impact of TV: "The
    changing world of TV in the next five to 10 years is very, very
    important" (AP/WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/1).
         IMMIGRATION POLICY:  Finchem is trying to get more foreign
    players to play on the PGA Tour.  Foreign players may currently
    play five Tour events if eligible, but Finchem will recommend an
    increase to seven exemptions for them.  Finchem: "It is healthy
    from the standpoint of strengthening our sponsor group, our
    corporate title sponsors, our television and the rest" (Steve
    Hershey, USA TODAY, 6/1).
         DEFENDING THE LPGA:  "Contrary to some misconceptions making
    the rounds in the wake of the (Ben) Wright controversy, the LPGA
    is doing just fine," writes SI's Sally Jenkins.  Jenkins does
    take some of the LPGA players to task for not responding during
    the flap:  "Surely it doesn't do the LPGA image any good when
    players seem unwilling or unable to speak intelligently about a
    cultural or social issue.  Confronted with some of the more
    profound problems in women's sports ... and given a national
    forum to discuss these problems, the players reacted with all the
    independent thought and spirit of the Stepford Wives" (SI, 6/5
    issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA, News Corp./Fox, PGA Tour, Sports Illustrated
  • TORONTO GROUP SHOOTS FOR '98 NFL EXPANSION

         At a press conference promoting the NFL's American Bowl to
    be played in Toronto on August 12, Toronto Sun Publishing Co.
    President Paul Godfrey said that Toronto is aiming for an NFL
    expansio franchise by '98, according to the TORONTO STAR.  NFL
    Commissioner Paul Tagliabue attended the press conference and
    stated Toronto is on his short list for new teams (Ken McKee,
    TORONTO STAR, 6/1).  Marty York of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL notes
    that Tagliabue "knocked down every obstacle" cited by those who
    disapprove of expansion in Canada.  Tagliabue: "We're very
    interested in this market.  We know how much NFL interest there
    is in Toronto and Canada generally."  Godfrey said he may be
    involved personally in the ownership group and introduced retired
    race car driver Mario Andretti as another potential owner (Marty
    York, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL
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