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MINOR LEAGUE EXECS IN DC TO LOBBY CONGRESS TO KEEP EXEMPTION
Published February 29, 1996
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).