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The Arena Football League will return to Southern CA, as its Board of Governors yesterday approved the sale of the Las Vegas Sting to a group of Orange County investors. The team, which will play at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, will be headed by President/GM Roy Englebrecht. Englebrecht is Exec VP and minority Owner of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes California League team. The Sting reportedly lost $1M in each of the last two seasons in Las Vegas. The Los Angeles Cobras called the L.A. Sports Arena home during the '88 AFL season, but folded after one year (L.A. TIMES, 10/4)....The Major Indoor Lacrosse League has granted Charlotte a team for the '96 season. The Cobras will play at Independence Arena and are the MILL's seventh franchise (MILL)....In the latest issue of SPORT, Dan Dieffenbach criticizes Michael Jordan's role in the NBA labor dispute. Dieffenbach writes that Jordan would have been "better off siding with players like Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson, or even [NBPA President Buck] Williams, instead of surrounding himself with controversy and troublemakers like Alonzo Mourning and Reggie Miller, both taking calls on the 1-800-DECERTIFY party line" (SPORT, 11/95 issue)....In the current AUTOWEEK, Wes Raynal doubts the IndyCar-IRL confrontation will go "over the brink" and lead to an alternate race on May 26, the date of the Indy 500. While CART President Andrew Craig says there will be no boycott of the 500, Raynal reports that dissident teams may have a contingency plan in place if the IRL fails to modify qualifying rules. Craig: "I've made it clear that a boycott is not on our list of things to do. But we've been locked out. It's reasonable for teams to consider other options" (AUTOWEEK, 10/2 issue).
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said his second meeting with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the executive council of NFL Properties will determine whether or not he files a countersuit, according to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Jones: "I'm probably going to be taking the next step no matter what happens. ... It will be a very productive meeting because it will dictate to a large degree what I do over the next few days with regard to litigation with the NFL." The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at an undisclosed location (Ed Werder, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/4). Jones also adds: "This potentially has more interest than the labor agreement or anything because it transcends the sports page" (Dave Sell, WASHINGTON POST, 10/4). CALL BILLY PAYNE: An editorial in AD AGE notes that with Jerry Jones, the NFL and NFL Properties are "getting a taste" of a problem that plagues Olympic organizers: ambush marketing (AD AGE, 10/2 issue). INSTANT REPLAY: A report in the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER notes a formal vote on bringing back instant replay "seems inevitable" next March at the NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach. Browns Owner Art Modell: "The bottom line is it's there for 40 million people to watch on television. Right now, they're seeing what we can't correct, and that's not good for anybody" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/4).