SBD/30/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              The NHL's participation in the Olympics is examined by
         Bob Verdi of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  Verdi: "Hockey wants so
         badly to be like other sports that it is trying the worst
         way possible: by joining Olympic overkill. ... Pro hockey
         players don't belong in the Winter Olympics."  Verdi adds
         that while some of Commissioner Gary Bettman's "strategies
         to elevate hockey's profile have worked ... [t]he Olympic
         interval is totally unnecessary and potentially damaging to
         the NHL."  By closing down the league for 2 1/2 weeks "the
         NHL could lose its already tenuous grasp on the American
         public.  Canada won't be a problem, but in the United
         States, the competition is fierce from basketball, pro and
         college."  Another "downside risk" for the NHL is that the
         season will run too late.  Verdi: "[T]he NHL still has too
         much to prove in North America.  The Olympic diversion
         accomplishes nothing" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/30). 
              OLYMPIC TESTING: On, Michael Farber writes
         that the NHL and NHLPA "have identified players who could
         make their countries' Olympic teams in Nagano next February
         and have asked them to provide urine samples to get them
         used to Olympic drug testing procedures."  Farber adds that
         "total confidentiality has been assured" (, 9/25).
              JAPAN GAMES: In Toronto, Randy Starkman writes on the
         NHL doubleheader in Japan this weekend between the Canucks
         and Mighty Ducks.  While the games are "guaranteed sellouts
         at the 10,000-seat Yoyogi Stadium," the holdout of the
         Ducks' Paul Kariya, who is of Japanese descent, "will be the
         story in hockey articles written" this week in the Japanese
         press.  Starkman: "This could defeat the NHL's purpose in
         starting its season in Tokyo: to expand its markets and grow
         the game of hockey" (TORONTO STAR, 9/30). 

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Vancouver Canucks, Walt Disney

              MLB announced its second-highest total attendance in
         history as 63,196,222 fans attended games during the '97
         season.  This year's total is second only to the all-time
         record of 70,256,459 in '93.  Overall, MLB teams averaged
         28,288 in '97, the third-highest average in history and a
         5.2% increase over '96's average of 26,889.  Six teams, the
         Braves, Orioles, Indians, Mariners, Dodgers and Rockies,
         drew more than three million fans.  Every MLB team drew over
         one million fans for only the sixth time.  Attendance was
         boosted by the 214 interleague games, which averaged 33,407,
         up 20.4% over intraleague action (MLB).  See (#30) for final
         AL attendance.  For the NL, see tomorrow's DAILY. 
              TWO VIEWS: USA TODAY's debate is on realigning baseball
         with the newspaper's editorial board in favor of realignment
         and the opposing view written by former editor of The
         Baseball Encyclopedia, Rick Wolff (USA TODAY, 9/30).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, Seattle Mariners
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