SBD/10/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • FOUNDER OF THE $1 LEAGUE THROWS IN HIS TWO-CENTS WORTH

         Dave Dixon, a founder of the USFL, plans a new pro football
    league with fans as owners.  Within the next ten days Dixon plans
    to announce formation of the FanOwnership Football League, with
    the unveiling in either Cleveland or Houston.  The New Orleans
    businessman "envisions a league that will offer cheaper tickets,
    a longer season, and, above all, stability."  Dixon said in "its
    present structure, the NFL cannot survive. ... You can't treat
    the public this way."  Dixon said eight founding owners will put
    up a one-time fee of $5M, plus $2M in operating funds.  The owner
    retains 30% of team stock, with 70% sold to fans with no single
    person able to own more than one percent.  The league would have
    12-16 teams and play a 24-game, fall-winter schedule.
    Negotiations are "underway with a major network" for a TV deal,
    but Dixon said without a TV contract, the league would go after
    syndication or other TV outlets.  The league will target "major
    cities," domed stadiums and warm weather cities.  Play is
    scheduled to begin play September '96 with an average ticket
    price of $10 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/10).  Dixon said he had
    spoken to CBS, Warner Brothers, and UPN and predicted CBS "will
    make a major bid" for the NFL in '97 (USA TODAY, 11/10).
         ANOTHER LEAGUE:  Robert Lewis, a New York lawyer who is
    trying to form another pro league with Calvin Hill as
    Commissioner said if they don't get a TV network deal in the next
    2-3 weeks, "we'll probably delay until 1997."  Lewis: "It amazes
    me how fearful these (network) guys are of the NFL" (Rudy
    Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, UPN, Viacom
  • HOCKEY WORLD CUP SCHEDULE; BETTMAN LOOKS TO GEN'S X, Y AND Z

         The World Cup, formerly the Canada Cup, has seven games set
    for Canada, seven for Europe and five for the U.S.,  according to
    a "preliminary schedule" obtained by the CANADIAN PRESS.  The
    eight-team tournament is tentatively scheduled to begin August 29
    as Canada takes on Russia in Vancover, and Sweden meets Finland
    in either Helsinki or Stockholm.  The Cup ends with a best-of-
    three final starting September 10 in Boston and ending in
    Montreal.  A final schedule may be finished by next week.
    European cities have yet to be decided, and Boston is the only
    definite U.S. site with Detroit, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis "vying
    for the other two."  Canadian sites include Vancouver, Montreal,
    Toronto and Ottawa (Alan Adams, CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/1O).
         THE COMMISH:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is featured by
    the N.Y. TIMES' Robert Lipsyte in his column titled, "Hot under
    the collar for the 'Coolest Game.'"  Bettman on hockey's future:
    "The interest level is huge among kids, it's unchanneled and
    untapped, but we won't really see it for five or 10 years, until
    they get out of college, buy their own tickets, and take control
    of their TV remotes.  We are where the NBA was in the 80's."
    Lipsyte writes while hockey is a "New World for entertainment
    entrepreneurs apparel and equipment marketers, Bettman has to
    make sure the natives aren't killed off right away. ... future
    profits will come from the family trade in warm climates."
    Bettman says Americanization does not mean "gutting" the game,
    but instead marketing "around the edges" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/10).
         NEWS & NOTES:  At a meeting yesterday with NHL Senior VP
    Brian Burke, a number of GMs, led by Toronto's Cliff Fletcher and
    Chicago's Bob Pulford, expressed displeasure over the removal of
    club logos from official game pucks.  A few GMs also spoke on the
    "perceived inadequacies" of the schedule and suggested clubs
    "have greater input" (TORONTO STAR, 11/10)....The lawsuit brought
    against the teams and league by five former players charging
    collusion could have a "big payoff" (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE
    & MAIL, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NHL
  • LEAGUE NOTES

         MLB's labor committee met yesterday in Chicago to finalize a
    proposal to give the MLBPA.  The meeting was attended by acting
    Commissioner Bud Selig, White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf, among
    others (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/10).... The Browns move may "take the
    air" out of the move to lift MLB's antitrust exemption, according
    to USA TODAY's Tom Weir, as baseball can now "make a stronger
    case than ever that its teams will take flight" if it is lost
    (USA TODAY, 11/10)....Philip Penston III, who has developed the
    World Boxing League, which would "reform the boxing industry," is
    profiled by John Heylar of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The WBL
    would seek a "team format, market boxers into matinee idols" and
    get it out of the "red light district of sports" (WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 11/10)....NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw, on Commissioner
    Tagliabue admitting the current CBA is not working as intended:
    "It's my fault again.  But that's OK. We're big boys. ... I'm not
    going to sell the players out" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS,
    11/10)....SportsLine USA is putting the text of Jerry Jones'
    $750M lawsuit against the NFL on the internet.  The suit is the
    "first legal document to make it to the service" (DALLAS MORNING
    NEWS, 11/10)....
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Browns, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NFL
  • NBA REFEREES PETITION IN ONTARIO TO BE RULED ON TODAY

         "Either the NBA or its referees' union will suffer a
    significant defeat today," according to Bill Harris of the
    TORONTO SUN.  Both sides made final arguments to the Ontario
    Labor Relations Board, and the board has been asked to determine
    if the NBA's lockout of the refs is legal under Ontario labor
    laws.  Board Chair Janice Johnston could give her decision today.
    Arguments yesterday by the league said the union has "never been
    recognized in Ontario and therefore the refs have never been
    employees in this province."  Even if the lockout is declared
    unlawful, it's not known what Johnston "will instruct the two
    sides to do about it" (Bill Harris, TORONTO SUN, 11/10).  The
    GLOBE & MAIL's Robert MacLeod calls it "uncertain" if Johnston
    will hand down her ruling today (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
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