SBD/15/Leagues Governing Bodies

FEDERAL SHUTDOWN DOESN'T STOP DC TALK ON SPORTS LEGISLATION

     Cleveland Mayor Michael White was in Washington yesterday to
meet with his state's congressional delegation regarding possible
legislative responses to the Browns' move.  In addition, White
sought contact with the Dept. of Justice, claiming that Browns
Owner Art Modell dealt "fraudulently" with the city.  The bills
proposed by OH Rep. Martin Hoke and OH Sen. John Glenn both seek
to limit sports franchise movement.  According to the WASHINGTON
POST's Ken Denlinger, they "agree in all areas, except one:
Glenn's would grant the leagues a limited exemption from
antitrust laws."  Glenn:  "That's what we're hung up on now.  The
leagues can't stop a team from transferring."  Hoke:  "From my
perspective, I don't trust the NFL [which has a limited exemption
to pool revenue] to act in the interest of anybody other than the
team owners."  Glenn's bill would force a team to give 180 days
notice before moving and that the team name remain.  Hoke would
require the league to give the vacant community an expansion team
within a year of a qualified buyer being found  (WASHINGTON POST,
11/15).
     CONTRACT WITH AMERICA'S FANS:  WA Sen. Slade Gorton, a
conservative Republican who generally favors free commerce, also
believes teams should be limited in their ability to move.
Gorton believes, in exchange for public subsidies teams receive,
they are not entitled to be treated as "pure private enterprises"
(PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/15).  Thomas Boswell writes, "If all
major sports had a Fans Rights Act, which allowed leagues a
partial exemption regarding franchise location -- but nothing
else -- then all our games would be better served" (WASHINGTON
POST, 11/15).
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