SBD/4/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         Accompanied by local business leaders "prepared to guarantee
    the sale of loge and club seats in a refurbished stadium,"
    Cleveland Mayor Michael White arrives in Atlanta today to make
    his case before NFL owners on the city's proposed Cleveland
    Stadium renovation.  According to Len Pasquarelli of the ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, "How sympathetic an audience White encounters,
    however, remains to be seen."  Pasquarelli notes of the 14 owners
    on the league's Finance and Stadium Committees, "eight either
    face stadium crises similar to those cited by Browns Owner Art
    Modell or have already announced that they are moving their teams
    to new cities" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/4).  The owners are
    "eager" for White to present specifics of his $175M renovation
    plan, with much of the focus expected on Cleveland's corporate
    community and its willingness to purchase luxury suites and club
    seats.  In response, White will have Harry Howell III, who was
    responsible for the successful marketing of Gund Arena and Jacobs
    Field boxes, outline his sales strategy.  As for details, Nancy
    Lesic, White's press secretary, said they will keep specifics of
    the plan and the revenue projections secret until after the
    meeting of NFL owners on January 17 (Bart Hubbuch, Akron BEACON
    JOURNAL, 1/4).
         EARLY PEEK:  Yesterday's Cleveland PLAIN DEALER notes the
    plan includes changes from the proposal offered the Browns days
    after the team's move announcement -- including an additional $6-
    13M in costs to provide club seating.  Frederick Nance, White's
    counsel on the stadium issue, said the added costs would be paid
    by club seat holders.  The revenue breakdown:  $140M from city
    sin and parking taxes; $26M from the state (although the state's
    15% could mean more money under an expanded plan); $6M from the
    city Utilities Dept.; $3M from the Regional Transit Authority.
    Pre-renovations, the plan would guarantee the Browns $16.3M in
    new revenues in '96 and an average of $19M per year over 30 years
    (Heider & Koff, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/3).
         DOUBTERS:  According to several experts surveyed by the
    Baltimore SUN on the city's November 8 proposal to the Browns, it
    will not be an "easy sell."  One source familiar with the new
    plan said it is "better" than the earlier proposal, but still
    follows "many of the same guidelines and assumptions."  The SUN
    does note revenue estimates now could be as high as $200M (Jon
    Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 1/4).

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL

         The PGA Tour starts its season today at the Mercedes
    Championship at Lacosta on Carlsbad, CA.  The Tour's 45 events
    feature a total of $66.6M in purse money.  The LPGA, which gets
    underway next week, will have 39 events for $25.3M in prize money
    -- up $1M from '95.  The Senior PGA Tour also has 39 events for
    $38.5M.  In Washington, Leonard Shapiro notes that golf heads
    into '96 "in relatively strong shape" with World Tour and FTC
    problems settled.  However, the controversy over CBS commentator
    Ben Wright still "lingers" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/4)....In an
    interview released by the Corel WTA Tour, Monica Seles expressed
    a desire for equal pay at future Australian Opens, but she said
    she still plans to play in the tournament.  Seles:  "I wish it
    wouldn't have happened ... [but] I always play because it doesn't
    matter to me" (Corel WTA Tour)....The CFL owes its Players'
    Association nearly $500,000 in overdue pension-fund payments at
    the same time they are trying to reduce roster sizes and cut pay.
    The CFLPA says it will not begin  negotiations on a new CBA until
    the pension-fund issue is settled (TORONTO SUN, 1/4)....The NPSL
    announced its players will be allowed to participate in MLS
    combines to be held this month.  NPSL Commissioner Steve Paxos
    said they are "glad to assist and cooperate" with MLS (NPSL).

    Print | Tags: CBS, CFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA, MLS, PGA Tour, Viacom

         While the baseball offseason has featured a "blizzard" of
    player movement, there is still no MLB labor agreement. Since it
    appears "unlikely" there will be a work stoppage during '96, MLB
    owners and players face a number of opportunities to announce
    labor peace, according to BASEBALL WEEKLY.  Owners meetings
    scheduled for January 16-18 in L.A. will focus on revenue
    sharing, but Peter Pascarelli reports a framework for a new labor
    deal could be in place for discussion by then.  Team GMs and
    managers will be at these meetings and they will draw significant
    media coverage setting a "stage" for labor news if it can be
    made.  This would also coincide with the January opening of club
    season-ticket sales.  The announcement of a new labor deal to
    open spring training would also be a "perfect PR sendoff" for the
    '96 season.  If not done by then, Opening Day would be the next
    "crunch deadline" as Pascarelli notes MLB cannot go on
    indefinitely without a CBA (BASEBALL WEEKLY, 1/3-9 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB

         During the tenure of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, league
    GMs "have seen much of their power over league affairs ceded to
    the governors and league executives," according to David Shoalts
    of the GLOBE & MAIL.  Past complaints focused on rule changes,
    but when they meet in Tucson on February 5, Shoalts predicts the
    issue will be scheduling.  GMs are unhappy with the amount of
    travel and distribution of home dates.  Maple Leafs President &
    GM Cliff Fletcher:  "Each team has its own philosophy when it
    comes to the schedule.  Some teams want to maximize gate
    receipts, so they'll ask for certain dates.  Others want a
    maximum competitive advantage, and others want to maximize their
    TV schedule.  Now the league has taken teams out of the picture
    on the schedule."  Under Bettman, former NHL Dir of
    Administration Phil Scheuer was let go in favor of a fully
    computerized system.  League officials note that teams are
    allowed to present preferred dates before the schedule is done
    and can request changes after.  The league acknowledges the
    complaints, but the system is unlikely "to undergo any radical
    changes" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/4).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs
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