SBD/15/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         NFL officials meeting this week on the probable loss of
    Cleveland discussed a number of possible resolutions to the
    situation, but arrived at no consensus, according to the
    Baltimore SUN.  The meetings included NFL Commissioner Paul
    Tagliabue, NFL President Neil Austrian and the Broncos Owner Pat
    Bowlen, Chair of the NFL's Broadcast Committee, Saints Owner Tom
    Benson, Chair of the NFL Finance Committee, and Browns Exec VP
    James Bailey.  Jon Morgan reports that among the options
    discussed were getting another team for the city, or passing a
    resolution demonstrating an intent to eventually move a team
    there, as the NFL did with L.A.  The stadium and finance
    committees are scheduled to hold a joint meeting on January 4 to
    review the Browns' relocation application.  Both the team and
    Cleveland Mayor Michael White will be given the opportunity to
    make presentations.  The full NFL ownership vote on the matter is
    still scheduled for January 17 ( Baltimore SUN, 12/15).
    profiles Browns Owner Art Modell's history in Cleveland and the
    decisions that led to the move in a front-page piece (WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 12/15).  ESPN's "Outside the Lines" presents a special
    on franchise movement tonight, live from Cleveland.  ESPN's Bob
    Ley said Modell's attorneys prevented an interview.  Also, the
    Akron BEACON JOURNAL reports NBC's Bob Costas will be in
    Cleveland for a pregame show Sunday from Modell's box (Akron
    BEACON JOURNAL, 12/15).       L.A. COLISEUM IS OUT:  L.A. City
    Council President John Ferraro, who is also head of the Coliseum
    Commission, said he was told this week by NFL officials that the
    L.A. Coliseum will not be considered as a permanent venue for
    football, according to the L.A. TIMES.  While Ferraro disagrees
    with the assessment, he thinks the city should move on rather
    than fight.  He said he would support Dodgers Owner Peter
    O'Malley in his efforts to build a stadium and get a team.
    Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson, Chair of the NFL Stadium
    Committee, has toured all L.A. stadium sites, including the
    Coliseum, and he says that if football is going to be successful
    in L.A., a state-of-the-art facility will have to be built.
    Richardson: "Los Angeles is a very special city, we have had good
    experiences there with Super Bowls, but it just doesn't make
    sense to go back with warmed over, renovated stadiums" (T.J.
    Simers, L.A. TIMES, 12/15).

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Dodgers, NBC, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Walt Disney

         The NHL Board of Governors voted yesterday to extend Gary
    Bettman's term as Commissioner.  As part of their meetings in
    Palm Beach, FL, the Governors gave unanimous approval to the
    extension, the terms of which are to be negotiated.  Board Chair
    Harley Hotchkiss:  "There was a strong feeling among the
    Governors that we have exactly the right person running the
    National Hockey League.  We wanted to make sure that Gary would
    be available to lead us into the next century."  In a statement,
    Bettman noted the Board "initiated the discussion on an
    extension" (NHL).  Bettman, in a conference call:  "I love this
    game.  I love this job. ... I'm not looking to do anything else"
    (THE DAILY).
         DETAILS TO COME:  The TORONTO STAR reports the Board intends
    to give Bettman a five-year extension, which combined with his
    remaining two years would take him through February 2003.  Bob
    McKenzie reports part of the reason was a "fear" that another
    league might hire Bettman away (TORONTO STAR, 12/15).  Asked
    about potential term of the new deal, Hotchkiss noted they would
    want Bettman to stay through talks on a new CBA in 2000 and
    future TV negotiations in '98 and '99 (THE DAILY).  Al Strachan
    notes the Exec Committee was "quick to point out that the
    initiative was with the governors. ... The owners rail against
    players who try to renegotiate, so it wouldn't look good to have
    their commissioner do it."  Strachan cites "highly placed
    sources" who say Bettman's salary will be $2.5-3M (TORONTO SUN,
    12/15).  USA TODAY notes, "Presumably, Bettman would be looking
    to at least double his salary" -- presently over $1M per year
    (Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, 12/15).   TOP ISSUES:  In a conference
    call, Bettman outlined the issues discussed during yesterday's
    meetings.  The Governors heard updates on the sale of the Stars
    and the relocation of the Jets to Phoenix, both of which are
    expected to gain approval at the league's January 19 meeting.
    There was also an update on the Panthers' situation.  Bettman
    said while all options -- including relocation -- are being
    considered, their "preference" is to keep the team in South FL.
     Bettman:  "My tolerance is lowering, my frustration level is
    raising."  Asked to elaborate, Bettman said, "What we have in
    Florida is not a hockey problem.  We have a building problem."
    Comsat's spin-off of its entertainment companies, including the
    Avalanche, into Ascent Entertainment, which launched a 20% IPO
    yesterday, was approved by the Board.  On expansion, Bettman said
    consensus was to focus on stability of current franchises.
    Bettman:  "Until we're comfortable that we have our house in
    order, there's no point in adding an addition or additions to our
    house. ... At some point we'll pursue it, but this is not the
    right time."  Fox made a presentation on its plans for '96
    coverage (THE DAILY).
         FOX'S "HERETIC":  Fox Sports President David Hill's a
    presentation left the Governors "clearly awestruck," according to
    Tony Gallagher in Vancouver.  Gallagher noted Hill's persistence
    on requesting the league go to four quarters and for other
    changes, including more special-event jerseys from teams
    (Vancouver PROVINCE, 12/15).  In Ottawa, Roy MacGregor calls
    Hill's talk "more than a bit chilling, particularly for
    traditionalists" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 12/15).
         OTHER TOPICS:  In Minneapolis, Jay Weiner reports that one
    Governor -- the Blackhawks' William Wirtz -- said the Twin Cities
    area "doesn't deserve a franchise" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE,
    12/15).  The N.Y. TIMES focuses on reports the Oilers may be the
    next team with financial problems that need to be addressed
    (Charlie Nobles, N.Y. TIMES, 12/15).
    The Canucks, Penguins, Mighty Ducks, Kings and Bruins will all
    unveil a third jersey after January 1.  They debut on national TV
    broadcasts (CBC for the Canucks, Fox for the U.S. teams) and are
    "geared toward kids" (USA TODAY, 12/15).

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, CBC, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, New York Jets, NHL, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Walt Disney

         Jud Perkins, NBA President of Events and Attractions,
    characterized the league as "satisfied" with the terms of a
    $200,000 rebate it will receive from the city of San Antonio over
    a dispute over facilities.  The SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS reports
    the dispute came after the league discovered the city was tearing
    down HemisFair Arena, which the NBA had planned to use for part
    of its four-day Jam Session.  The NBA estimates it will lose
    $350,000 by moving events such as All-Star and rookie game
    practice sessions from the 16,000-seat arena to a temporary 4,000
    seat facility at the San Antonio Convention Center.  The city had
    offered the HemisFair Arena to the league as part of its bid to
    host All-Star Weekend, but has since decided to expand its
    convention center in place of the HemisFair.   The city still
    plans on profits of $10,400 from the Weekend despite the rebate,
    which will be given half in cash and half in credits (Jerry
    Briggs, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 12/15).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
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