SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              The ABL's San Jose Lasers opened their season on
         Wednesday night and MERCURY NEWS columnist Ann Killion wrote
         that if the "first night is any indication, Year 2 will be
         bigger and better."  Killion: "Bigger building.  Bigger
         crowd.  Bigger media turnout.  Bigger celebrities and more
         of them in the audience."   The announced attendance of
         10,809 "more than doubled" last season's opening crowd. 
         Killion noted the "star-studded crowd" that included 49ers
         Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, Merton Hanks, and Terry Kirby,
         along with Ronnie Lott, Marty McSorley and Dusty Baker. 
         Killion: "[T]he ABL is still here.  Not just existing, but
         getting bigger" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/16).  In S.F.,
         Gwen Knapp, under the header, "ABL Sells Basketball For The
         Real Fan," wrote that the Lasers of "yesteryear sold
         themselves to the women's basketball loyalists, long smitten
         with the college game.  Wednesday's show appealed to the old
         crowd and reached out for general sports fans."  But Knap
         added that the 49ers' at the game were "invited as VIPs ...
         a WNBA trick, slightly altered" (S.F. EXAMINER, 10/16).  
              BLIZZARD: A HARTFORD COURANT editorial states that
         Blizzard fans "are not a beer-drinking crowd.  Ponytailed
         girls dressed in tie-dyed Blizzard shirts bounced up the
         coliseum aisles. ... Mothers with the neighborhood girls in
         tow held up homemade signs, and families ... watched
         affordable and exciting basketball" (HART. COURANT, 10/17). 

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, San Francisco 49ers, WNBA

              At least three pro women's hockey leagues "are looking
         to hit the ice in the next couple of years," according to
         Ken Campbell of the HOCKEY NEWS.  Campbell reports that
         "some people think there is big money to be made from it." 
         Among the fledgling leagues are the Women's Pro Hockey
         League, which claims to have "substantial financial backing
         and received signed letters of intent from 16 of 20 top
         American players."  In addition, the U.S. Women's Pro Hockey
         League wants to begin with a ten-team exhibition schedule
         before expanding to 26 teams in four divisions, including
         teams in Honolulu, Edmonton, Biloxi and Beijing (HOCKEY
         NEWS, 10/17).  In Hartford, Tommy Hine reported that the
         Women's Pro Hockey League "will debut next spring," with six
         teams, three each in Canada and the U.S.  One franchise will
         be owned by former Penguins Owner Jack McGregor. WPHL
         President Ed Saunders: "At this point, we have identified
         several franchises.  Right now, Connecticut is our strongest
         candidate."  WPHL players would "average $500 a week, with
         top players earning $1,000 (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/8).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Pittsburgh Penguins

              NFL:  In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes of spending time
         with 28 L.A. youngsters talking about the NFL and the open
         L.A. market.  Plaschke writes that while "many of them love
         the sport," he was hearing the "sound of future ticket and
         merchandising dollars slipping away with every year" the NFL
         is not in L.A.  Plaschke: "This is a generation that is
         being lost. ... The NFL needs Los Angeles more than Los
         Angeles needs the NFL" (L.A. TIMES, 10/17)....After NFL
         Commissioner Paul Tagliabue mentioned Houston as a possible
         expansion city, prospective Houston team Owner Robert McNair
         said, "The question now is do we have the resolve to go
         forward?" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/17). 
              MLB: Throwing out the first pitch for Game One of the
         World Series will be 21-year-old Jackie Robinson/GE Fund
         Scholar Shomari Dakatari Dailey (MLB).
              LPGA: The LPGA Tournament of Champions "pulled out" of
         South FL and will become a season-ending event.  Robert
         Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama will sponsor and host the
         event from October 8-11.  Chrysler Plymouth didn't renew as
         title sponsor after one year as host of the FL event (Fort
         Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 10/16). 
              LISTENING TO ASIA? Former Cowboy Preston Pearson of TX-
         based Pro-Style Associates, together with two other
         partners, "are searching for investors in a new Asia-Pacific
         Football League," according to Welch Suggs of the DALLAS
         BUSINESS JOURNAL.  The league is looking for $5.5M to begin
         play in six Pacific Rim cities.  The APFL, headquartered in
         Dallas, is scheduled to begin play in October '98, and plans
         to hold a training camp "somewhere in Texas" next summer
         (DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/13 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA, MLB, NFL

              Former Patriots Owner Victor Kiam testified yesterday
         in the St. Louis Convention and Visitor Commission's (CVC)
         $130M lawsuit against the NFL, according to Lhotka & O'Neil
         of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  Kiam said that between '90
         and '92 he tried three times to move the team but was
         "blocked each time by the NFL."   Kiam claimed that his team
         "met NFL's usual criteria to move: It was losing money and
         fan attendance was declining."   But NFL lawyers "pointed
         during cross-examination to the Patriots' losing record and
         the team's sexual harassment scandal involving a female
         sports writers as reasons for lost fan support."  Kiam said
         league execs prevented him from relocating to Jacksonville,
         San Antonio or Baltimore during his tenure and he said that
         he lost $30M while owning the team.  Kiam: "[NFL]
         Commissioner [Paul] Tagliabue said, 'You don't meet the
         guidelines,' all of which are subjective.  I never had a
         chance."  Under cross examination, Kiam "defended himself in
         a sexual harassment scandal" involving former Boston Herald
         reporter Lisa Olson that began in '90.  Lawyers also noted
         that Kiam inherited a team that went to the Super Bowl in
         the '85 season, went 1-15 during his tenure "and back to the
         Super Bowl last January" and currently has a waiting list
         for season-tickets (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/17).  On
         Wednesday, several NFL owners, on videotaped, gave "varying"
         testimony on "why they voted as they did" in March and April
         of '95 when the Rams' move to St. Louis was first rejected
         and then approved (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/16).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, New England Patriots, NFL, LA Rams
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