SBD/29/Leagues Governing Bodies

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         The NFL's deal to return football to Cleveland not only
    includes a provision calling on local companies to guarantee they
    will rent most of the new stadium's loge and club seats for 10
    years, it also states that Cleveland Tomorrow, a group
    representing the city's top corporations, will be responsible for
    providing a "cushion" against unsold luxury seats beyond that
    time.  That cushion would come in the form of upfront cash -- a
    $3M deposit by December 31 -- or a $10M line of credit.  But,
    according to the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, Cleveland Tomorrow Exec
    Dir Joseph Roman said his group learned of that commitment just
    this week when final documents were released by Cleveland Mayor
    Michael White.  Kenneth Silliman, an Exec Assistant to Mayor
    White, stressed that other businesses would be asked for "seed
    money" in addition to Cleveland Tomorrow.  He did not name a
    specific organization (Stephen Koff, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER,
         GIVE IT UP:  Columnist Terry Pluto argues that those on the
    City Council who oppose the NFL's deal with the city should
    remember one thing, "It's over."  Pluto writes, "You may not
    believe White secured the best deal, but hands were shook, papers
    were signed" (Akron BEACON JOURNAL, 2/29).
         OSU WILLING FOR SHORT-TERM:  OSU President Gordon Gee said
    the school would accommodate an NFL team in Columbus, but not for
    more than two years (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 2/28).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL

         With a '96 start postponed due to stadium and ownership
    problems, UBL President Mike Stone reaffirmed the league plans to
    start with a 154-game schedule in March '97.  Stone promises a
    "rather major announcement" next month, likely concerning
    experiments the league may be considering on the rules and speed
    of the game (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/29).... James Bassett III,
    President of Breeders' Cup Limited, announced that Hollywood Park
    will be the site of the '97 Championship (Breeders' Cup)....The
    AVP announced its '96 Miller Lite/AVP Tour schedule, with the
    outdoor season starting March 8 in Las Vegas.  Five of the tour's
    stops will be franchised out to on-site promoters, including two
    to P.S./Stargames, the firm managed by AVP CEO Jerry Solomon
    (AVP)....So far this season, the NBA has levied 44 fines for
    $261,500 and suspended 28 players for a total of 31 games.  Last
    season, there were 35 fines for $305,500 and 12 players suspended
    for 21 games (USA TODAY, 2/29).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

         Over 50 minor league baseball owners and execs met in
    Washington, DC, for their third consecutive "Congressional Day"
    to talk with Senators and Representatives on the future of the
    minor leagues.  The NAPBL, the governing body of the minor
    leagues, has been lobbying members of Congress to keep the
    antitrust exemption that baseball now currently enjoys.  Team
    officials discussed how the exemption impacts the minor league's
    relationship with MLB, noting that under the present PBA with
    MLB, minor league players salaries are paid by the Major League
    clubs.  Many team execs believe the exemption is vital to the
    survival of smaller market clubs.       INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
    NAPBL VP Pat O'Conner said while minor league clubs generated
    $242M in revenues in '94, they face similar big vs. small market
    problems of the major leagues.  To stress this, O'Conner said 10%
    of the clubs -- 16 teams -- generated 70% of the operating
    income, while 37% of the NAPBL teams lost money or had negative
    cash flow.  He called these "modest results," despite the
    popularity of the minors over the past two years.  O'Conner said
    without the current PBA between the league and NAPBL, which
    expires at the end of this year, and MLB's antitrust exemption,
    only one in six NAPBL teams would survive.  O'Conner:  "Now is
    not the time to play politics with baseball" (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, Ottawa Senators, PBA

         The PGA Tours top players "are competing less and less as
    their business schedules are filled with more and more, and
    commissioner Tim Finchem is saddled with bylaws that render him
    virtually powerless to reverse the trend," according to the Jaime
    Diaz in the latest issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.  Diaz explains,
    "once a touring pro is established as a player of repute, he can
    put in as little as 15 to 25 competitive weeks a year -- most of
    it aimed at peaking for majors, the true career makers.  In the
    remaining time he can play in lucrative unofficial events,
    collect appearance money overseas and design golf courses, and in
    the process he can make more, much more, than he would win on
    tour."  Among the options facing Finchem:  Raising beyond 15 the
    minimum number of tournaments required for Tour membership;
    mandating that no player skip more than five in a row; or making
    the release policy for foreign or TV events "more stringent."
    But Finchem is "unwilling to make any of these moves."  He argues
    that the top players still play in about the same number of
    tournaments, and that TV ratings and attendance figures back the
    claim that better competition overall "adequately fills whatever
    void is created" when top stars don't show (SI, 3/4 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, PGA Tour, Sports Illustrated
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