SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies

IS ART MODELL NOT THE MOST POPULAR GUY W/NFL OWNERS TODAY?

          The NFL's new eight-year, $17.6B TV package was
     unanimously approved yesterday by league owners "who also
     were told to expect the player salary cap" to increase from
     $41.5M in '97 to between $53M to $55M for the '98 season,
     according to Leonard Shapiro of the WASHINGTON POST.  The
     final cap amount "will be determined" when the league and
     its TV partners "settle on the payment schedule" for the
     first year of the deal, which "should be completed by the
     end of next week."  Owners were "clearly" in a "buoyant
     mood" in discussing the TV deal.  Afterward, Raiders Owner
     Al Davis said, "In the last contract, as soon as it was
     over, ABC and ESPN were sold to Disney for [$19.6B].  CBS
     was sold for [$6.5B].  One of the outstanding features of
     that difference was CBS not having the NFL.  When you see
     what Fox did (with football), we built that network"
     (WASHINGTON POST, 1/23).  Ravens Owner Art Modell: "Why
     should I be happy?  We are just going to give it all to the
     players, anyway."  In Boston, Will McDonough notes the
     increasing salary cap and adds, "It didn't take long to
     realize that Modell was on the money" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/23).
          ART HAS HIS: Modell admitted yesterday that the TV deal
     will make it tougher for cities to attain public funding for
     facility financing: "I think it'll be a long time before you
     see a publicly subsidized stadium again, even though most of
     the money goes to the players.  I wish I would say it's not
     so, but that's the case" (Vito Stellino, Balt. SUN, 1/23). 
     Modell, on Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen, who is lobbying for
     public help on a new stadium: "Nobody can stand up now and
     say they need a new stadium and those new revenues in order
     to stay competitive. ... I think Pat has a good, sound
     position on needing a new stadium, but I don't know how
     politically inviting it will be for the city fathers to
     support it.  With this kind of money coming in, that's going
     to be an awfully tough sell."  In Denver, Bob Kravitz: "The
     sound you just heard?  That's Bowlen's jaw dropping to the
     pavement" (Bob Kravitz, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 1/23).
          TALKS OFF: In N.Y., Mike Freeman reports that the NFL
     and NFLPA "have reached an impasse" on a CBA extension and
     "both sides feel a pact won't be reached soon."  NFLPA Exec
     Dir Gene Upshaw: "Talks have broken off" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/23).
          NOTES: One of the NFL's int'l exhibition games will be
     played in Vancouver this year, on August 15, between the
     49ers and Seahawks (TORONTO SUN, 1/23)....The forecast for
     Sunday in San Diego is for mostly clear skies with a high
     near 70 (Mult., 1/23)....Bill Walsh contributes an op-ed in
     the N.Y. TIMES on the hiring of minority coaches in the NFL,
     writing that litigation will not solve the "problems of
     hiring in the N.F.L."  Walsh: "Those with the most influence
     have not necessarily been active addressing the social
     undercurrent. ... The reason is that most owners do not
     regularly come into contact with African-Americans other
     than to talk with them after a game" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/23).

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