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  • LEAGUE NOTES

              MLB umpires "were threatened with 'swift action'
         Tuesday in a strongly worded letter" from MLB if they "fail 
         to abide by baseball's policies and practices," according to
         Hal Bodley of USA TODAY.  The letter, written by MLB
         attorney Robert Kheel, said that the umps face "suspensions
         or even more severe action if they follow through on their
         'no tolerance' stand" (USA TODAY, 10/1).  Highlights of
         David Letterman's "Top 10 Signs The Umpire Is Nuts."  No.
         10: His Chest Protector Has Large Silicone Implants.  No. 9: 
         Cleans Home Plate With His Tongue.  No. 8: The First Batter
         Has Worked The Count to 46 Balls, 29 Strikes.  No. 6:  Was
         Seen Checking Into Motel 6 With The Philly Phanatic.  No. 3: 
         Insists That "Baseball Fever" Is The Cause Of That Weird
         Rash On His Back ("Late Show," CBS, 9/30).
              RACING: The IRL increased its '98 schedule to 10 races 
         as it has added Dover Downs, DE, to its schedule with a race
         on July 19 (IRL).  A second IRL race at Texas Motor Speedway
         has been added for September 20 and will serve as the final
         event on the '98 schedule (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/1).  
              GENERAL: The National Lacrosse League, a new eight-team
         league combining teams from the Major Indoor Lacrosse League
         with two expansion teams, begins its inaugural season
         January 3, 1998 (NLL)....USA Baseball will relocate its
         national headquarters to Tuscon, AZ's Hi Corbett Field on a
         permanent basis, contingent upon city approval.  USA
         Baseball's administrative offices are currently located in
         Trenton, NJ, and the organization expects to complete the
         move sometime in mid-November (USA Baseball)....The CISL
         will assume operational control of the Anaheim Splash,
         having terminated the franchise rights of the current owners
         due to a failure to meet financial obligations (CISL).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Indiana Fever, IndyCar, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, National Lacrosse League, Speedway Motorsports Inc., Viacom
  • MLB ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN: 17 TEAMS SEE SECOND-HALF BUMP

              THE DAILY charts MLB final attendance figures for each
         team.  Our focus is on the second half of the season,
         including the last five weeks of the schedule, when the wild
         card and pennant races should have become more competitive
         while going up against the start of the NFL season.  NOTES:
         "1st Half Season Avg." is based on attendance through the
         All-Star break; "2nd Half Analysis" looks at attendance from
         All-Star break through August 24; from August 24 through the
         end of the season and total second half average (THE DAILY).
    
             
    SEASON AVG 2ND HALF ANALYSIS 2ND HALF
    TEAM
    1ST HALF
    FINAL
    7/10-8/24
    8/24-9/28
    TOT
    +/-
    BAL
    45,293
    45,816
    46,497
    46,027
    46,278
    + 2%
    CLE
    42,206
    42,559
    42,862
    42,996
    42,912
    + 2%
    SEA
    38,562
    39,494
    40,966
    39,823
    40,497
    + 5%
    TEX
    37,592
    36,815
    37,876
    31,080
    35,277
    - 6%
    TOR
    32,133
    31,967
    32,755
    30,901
    31,712
    - 1%
    NYY
    30,332
    33,083
    35,874
    36,138
    35,978
    +19%
    BOS
    26,685
    27,827
    28,899
    29,376
    29,089
    + 9%
    CHI
    23,323
    23,913
    26,715
    22,384
    24,677
    + 6%
    ANA
    21,886
    21,819
    23,861
    18,965
    21,746
    - 1%
    KC
    19,249
    19,710
    20,590
    19,580
    20,207
    + 5%
    MIL
    16,379
    19,710
    23,037
    18,044
    20,877
    +27%
    MIN
    17,828
    17,421
    19,766
    13,842
    16,959
    - 5%
    DET
    15,508
    17,280
    20,057
    19,687
    19,883
    +28%
    OAK
    16,567
    15,965
    14,188
    17,312
    15,407
    - 7%
    AL
    27,357
    28,086
    29,763
    27,754
    28,912
    + 6%
    NL
    COL
    48,123
    48,006
    48,149
    47,621
    47,891
    - 0%
    ATL
    41,010
    42,765
    46,312
    41,265
    44,317
    + 8%
    LA
    37,559
    40,974
    45,379
    45,781
    45,556
    +21%
    STL
    33,224
    32,819
    34,639
    29,830
    32,361
    - 3%
    FLA
    29,810
    29,555
    28,583
    30,894
    29,335
    - 2%
    CHI
    25,710
    27,725
    32,932
    25,304
    26,960
    + 5%
    SD
    26,966
    26,117
    24,867
    24,951
    24,908
    - 8%
    HOU
    22,333
    25,269
    28,483
    29,218
    28,599
    +28%
    CIN
    22,769
    22,322
    24,108
    18,694
    21,776
    - 4%
    NYM
    21,697
    22,643
    27,183
    20,006
    23,692
    + 9%
    SF
    19,698
    21,135
    18,883
    27,945
    23,414
    +19%
    PIT
    19,306
    20,713
    22,895
    21,282
    22,192
    +15%
    MON
    19,471
    18,489
    19,855
    13,702
    17,058
    -12%
    PHI
    18,768
    19,359
    18,725
    21,342
    19,998
    + 7%
    NL
    27,375
    28,490
    30,674
    28,602
    29,763
    + 9%
    TOTAL
    27,366
    28,288
    30,212
    28,186
    29,338
    + 7%
    MLB ATTENDANCE, PART II: September attendance for MLB increased 5% over '96. A look at September attendance for the last six seasons, followed by the number of games.
    YR
    SEPT. ATTENDANCE GAMES
    YR
    SEPT. ATTENDANCE GAMES
    '92
    8,900,262
    181
    '95
    9,277,085
    188
    '93
    12,038,777
    207
    '96
    9,563,591
    182
    '94
    '97
    10,029,154
    190

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, NFL
  • NHL ON ICE: ANALYSTS SAY LEAGUE COULD FACE WATERSHED YEAR

              The NHL's 81st season gets underway tonight with ten
         games on the schedule.  In Toronto, Stephen Brunt writes
         that the NHL season "brings both great opportunity and great
         danger for the business of the game."   The "upside" is the
         Olympic participation where a Canada-U.S. final, "even if it
         is played live at dawn, could be the most significant game
         in the history of the sport.  Hockey would really matter, at
         least for the moment, outside of traditional hockey hotbeds,
         and a lot of eyes would surely be opened to the sport's
         possibilities."  But the "danger" for the upcoming season
         lies in NC, where the Hurricanes "are in for a terrible
         struggle to find a berth in the public imagination."  Brunt:
         "Hockey is going through a period of hyper-inflation. 
         Salaries are going up, but franchise values are going up
         faster.  The league is about to embark on an ambitious
         expansion that includes one sure thing (Atlanta, irony of
         ironies) and a bunch of maybes.  A little setback down
         south, and the foundations of the pyramid suddenly get a
         little shaky" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/1).  In Calgary, Mark Miller
         writes the NHL is "heading into one of its most crucial
         seasons" and adds, with the Olympics, the game "will finally
         achieve the profile it's aspired to for so long in the U.S."
         (EDMONTON SUN/CALGARY SUN, 10/1).
              MONEY, IT'S A FACT: In N.Y., Joe Lapointe previews the
         season, noting that "some of the sport's biggest stars are
         unlikely to be in uniform" for the opener.  Currently, up to
         eight restricted Group 2 free agents, including Mighty Duck
         Paul Kariya and Red Wing Sergei Fedorov, are unsigned (N.Y.
         TIMES, 10/1).  On ESPN SportsZone, Al Morganti writes "with
         so many high-profile players still not signed," there are
         "some very loud suggestions from across NHL management
         offices that part of the problem" is the NHLPA.  NHLPA Exec
         Dir Bob Goodenow said while the union does act as a "sort of
         clearinghouse" for information, "I don't and we don't work
         as a player's agent in the negotiations" (SportsZone, 10/1).
         
    

    Print | Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, ESPN, Gale Force Holdings, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL, Walt Disney
  • REPORT HAS TAGLIABUE LIKELY APPROVING ONE-YEAR CBA EXTENSION

              The NFL's CBA runs through 2000 and there has been
         speculation that NFL owners would reject an extension
         through 2001 unless the players "agreed to significant
         changes in the current salary-cap system," according to Paul
         Domowitch of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS.  But with talks 
         set for a new TV deal, the league "can ill afford the threat
         of another labor war."  Therefore, when owners meet in
         Washington in two weeks for their owners meetings, league
         sources say Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "will recommend that
         the owners approve a one-year, as-is extension of the CBA
         through 2001, then resume the fight for the salary-cap
         reform next year."  But NFLPA Assist. Exec Dir Doug Allen
         criticizes the league for asserting that large signing
         bonuses violate the "spirit" of the salary cap.  Allen: "How
         can they stand there and claim they didn't understand you
         could allocate signing bonuses?  That is beyond ridiculous.
         ... The bottom line is they don't like their own spending
         habits and they don't like free agency.  But that boat left
         the dock a long time ago" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/1).
         
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL
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