SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BETTMAN CALLS FOR PATIENCE WITH CAROLINA AND PLAYER SALARIES

              NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Toronto yesterday
         at the Canadian Sports Media achievement awards luncheon. 
         During his visit, Bettman discussed the state of the league
         with local writers.  On the sparse attendance for the second
         Hurricanes home game: "There's no surprise here.  You're
         dealing with a situation where the team is playing over 70
         miles from its permanent home.  We knew ... this would be a
         problem, particularly on weeknights."  Bettman likened the
         situation to the NFL's Oilers who are experiencing
         attendance problems while playing in Memphis temporarily
         before moving to Nashville.  Regarding the number of player
         holdouts and the increasing team payrolls, Bettman said,
         "You have to look at these things over time. ... We've had
         holdouts in prior years.  It's easy to say, 'Oh my, look at
         this.'  But if you go back over time holdouts have happened.
         ... The thing you have to look at over time is: Are our
         revenues and our salaries, our players costs, increasing
         about the same rate?  My preference is that our revenues
         increase faster than the salaries, which is what's been
         happening for the past few years."  Bettman said that he had
         "no news" concerning the sale of the Oilers (David Shoalts,
         Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/9).  He also added that the sale of
         the Islanders is a "work in progress" (CP, 10/9).
              FAMILIAR REFRAIN: Fox Sports Net's John Walsh reported
         on the increase in NHL salaries, noting that they have risen
         "a shocking" 265% in the last six years.  Walsh: "Who's to
         blame for these salaries?  One argument says that it's the
         GMs' fault ... the other school of thought is that it's the
         players who are just too greedy ... So general managers have
         to adjust; now they see athletes as investments and not just
         talented hockey players."  Flyers GM Bobby Clarke: "[W]e
         have a great sport to sell, but we don't know how to raise
         the revenues to pay the salaries that are being demanded by
         our players ... We're one of the high revenue teams in the
         league, and we're really concerned with where this is going. 
         And we don't know ... how to put the brakes on."  Kings GM
         Dave Taylor: "[I]t's going to be very difficult for the
         small markets to compete" ("Fox Sports News," FSN, 10/8).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Comcast-Spectacor, Edmonton Oilers, Gale Force Holdings, Leagues and Governing Bodies, New York Islanders, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers
  • FORMER SENATOR TOM EAGLETON TALKS TOUGH ON NFL TO LOCAL JURY

              Former U.S. Senator Thomas Eagleton "sparred for more
         than two hours" Wednesday with NFL attorney Frank Rothman
         over league guidelines and the Rams' move from California to
         St. Louis, according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS
         POST-DISPATCH.  The testimony came during the third day of
         the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission's (CVC)
         $130M antitrust suit against the NFL.  Eagleton is the
         former head of FANS, Inc., which led the drive to lure the
         Rams, and is "a key witness" for the CVC.  Eagleton said the
         reason NFL owners rejected to team's move in March of '95
         and approved it a month later was the agreement to pay a
         $29M relocation fee and make other concessions.  Eagleton:
         "M-O-N-E-Y, that's what changed the decision between the two
         meetings, money."  But under cross examination, the NFL's
         Rothman questioned Eagleton about his role in supporting
         legislation while a U.S. Senator that would have exempted
         the NFL and other pro sports from antitrust laws, which
         would have "set guidelines for team relocation that are
         nearly identical to the guidelines now on NFL books." 
         Eagleton said he introduced that measure to prevent Bill
         Bidwill, Owner of NFL's St. Louis Cardinals, from moving to
         Arizona.  In other news, Judge Jean Hamilton "agreed to a
         key defense request -- that the jury not hear any evidence
         about relocation fees or other issues relating to three
         other NFL team moves.  The judge ruled that because these
         moves took place after the Rams moved to St. Louis, they
         aren't part of the trial."  U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt also
         testified and said that he initiated contact with the Rams
         in early '94 about moving (POST-DISPATCH, 10/9).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, St. Louis Rams
  • MIKE LUPICA CALLS FOR SOME YOUNG GUNS TO BE LIKE MIKE

              The '97-98 NBA season is previewed by Mike Lupica in
         MEN'S JOURNAL.  Under the header, "Anyone But Mike," Lupica
         questions which, if any, of the NBA's young players are
         ready to carry the league's torch after Michael Jordan
         departs.  Lupica: "For some time now, the league has been
         hiding more garbage behind Jordan than Hollywood hid behind
         Harrison Ford in Air Force One.  Now let's find out if there
         really is life after Jordan.  ... [W]ithout Jordan , is
         there one player, above all others, who can get us to stay
         tuned?"  Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway, Shaquille O'Neal and
         Kevin Garnett are noted as possible successors.  Hawks Coach
         Lenny Wilkens: "The league wants it to be Grant, I know that
         ... But ... I'm not sure if Grant can ever be that guy." 
         Wilkens "nominates" Hardaway: "He doesn't have just the
         game.  I believe he can have the personality, too."  TNT's
         Doc Rivers: "I believe Garnett might be the one to watch,
         just in terms of star quality."  Red Auerbach singles out
         O'Neal: "[H]e does have that smile."  Lupica writes that
         "[m]arketing is a sacrament in pro basketball" and that
         Hill, Hardaway, and O'Neal have been "marketed beautifully." 
         He adds that Jordan's coming retirement "doesn't mean we're
         moving up on some sort of October 1929 for the NBA ...
         Ratings are good, revenues are sky-high ... the sport is
         gaining popularity all over the world.  But nothing lasts
         forever" (MEN'S JOURNAL, 11/97 issue). 
    
    
    
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, TBS/TNT, Time Warner
  • NFL AVERAGE TICKET PRICES: REDSKINS AND RAIDERS TOP CHART

              Today, THE DAILY lists the average gross ticket price
         of each NFL team in '97.  Figures are based on the number of
         seats at each individual ticket price, when made available. 
         Club and suite seats are not included.  Note: (a) indicates
         a figure based on an approximation given by the club.  
    
              
    NFC TEAM
    '97
    '96
    AFC TEAM '97 '96
    WAS
    $52.92
    $40.67
    OAK
    $51.11
    $51.11
    SFO
    45
    45
    SDC
    43.24
    35.02
    NYG
    40.85
    36
    TEN
    40.36
    31.76
    CAR
    40.35
    39.26
    NEP-a
    39.55
    34
    DAL
    39.95
    39.39
    BAL
    39.27
    41.56
    MIN
    39.78
    29.5
    KCC
    38
    32
    CHI
    38.18
    38.56
    JAX
    37
    37
    PHI
    38.02
    38
    PIT
    36.06
    34.34
    DET
    35.87
    35
    BUF
    35.58
    32
    GBP
    35.55
    31.14
    CIN
    35.1
    35.1
    TBB
    35.46
    31.5
    DEN
    35
    35
    ARZ-a
    35.44
    33.28
    IND-a
    34.42
    32.03
    STL
    34.26
    34.27
    MIA-a
    34.3
    33
    NOS
    30.63
    32
    SEA
    32.65
    34.32
    ATL
    30.32
    31
    NYJ
    31.08
    25

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL
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