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IS ART MODELL NOT THE MOST POPULAR GUY W/NFL OWNERS TODAY?
Published January 23, 1998
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).