SBD/7/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • AFTER 18 DAY TENURE, CLARSON OPTS OUT OF WTA TOUR CEO DEAL

              The WTA Tour announced that its newly-named CEO, Ric
         Clarson, has reversed his decision to take the post and will
         remain as VP/Tournament Business Affairs of the PGA Tour. 
         Clarson had accepted the position on December 19 and was set
         to begin a four-year term on January 15 (WTA Tour).  In a
         statement, Clarson said his "heightened awareness of certain
         issues within the organization has made me rethink my
         commitment and reconsider my acceptance of this position"
         (THE DAILY).  WTA Tour Search Committee Board Member Bob
         Arrix said that Clarson "was aware of the challenges and
         opportunities of the job prior to accepting the position." 
         Arrix went on to add that the Tour is hoping to have a CEO
         announcement by the end of the week (WTA Tour).
              THEN AGAIN, MAYBE I WON'T: In N.Y., Robin Finn called
         the news "an embarrassing setback for women's professional
         tennis."  While Clarson did not make his reasons public,
         "there were indications" that they "had to do with his
         reluctance to uproot his family from Florida, as well as a
         reluctance to assume control of a sport that will be without
         a sponsor at the end of 1998, is limited by its $10 million
         operating budget and is beleaguered by a rift" within its
         Players Association (Robin Finn, N.Y. TIMES, 1/7).  In FL,
         Laurie Casaday reports that Clarson's decision "was based"
         on the unsettled Board dispute, which he had the
         "understanding ... would be amicably resolved."  Clarson
         said he "presented a proposal that would settle" the
         conflict, but "it was rejected" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/7). 
              TWO PLAYERS? In CONDE NAST SPORTS FOR WOMEN, Andrea
         Leand reports that "potential suitors" for title sponsorship
         of the WTA Tour, "include two multinational electronics
         companies" (CONDE NAST SPORTS FOR WOMEN, 1/98 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, PGA Tour
  • MLB REPORTEDLY TO CANCEL FULL QUARTERLY MEETINGS IN PHOENIX

              MLB's search for a commissioner "came into question"
         after Acting Commissioner Bud Selig "decided to cancel the
         regular quarterly meetings of owners scheduled for next week
         in Phoenix," according to Tom Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE
         JOURNAL SENTINEL.  Committee meetings will take place as
         originally scheduled, but the joint session will be called
         off, "mainly because there are no pressing items on the
         agenda."  Haudricourt: "Despite that development, Selig
         insisted that the search for a new commissioner remained a
         priority."  Rockies Chair Jerry McMorris, head of the
         commissioner search committee, had "originally hoped to
         present candidates for the commissionership" to the owners'
         ruling Exec Council next week but "acknowledged that the
         process was behind schedule" (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/7).   In
         DC, Mark Maske reports that "the likelihood the Phoenix
         meeting will be canceled signals that the owners are still
         not prepared to move on the commissioner front."  Maske adds
         that "many" MLB officials mention NL President Len Coleman
         as a "top internal candidate" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/7).
              VOTE ON DODGERS DELAYED: Selig told USA TODAY's Bodley
         & Antonen that no decision had been made on cancelling the
         meetings and that the "alternative is to cancel the joint
         meetings and hold committee meetings."  Selig said a meeting
         of the Exec Council will be held regardless of any decision
         (USA TODAY, 1/7).  In L.A., Mike Digiovanna adds that the
         move delays News Corp.'s proposed purchase of the Dodgers.
         The Exec Council "will meet, as will the ownership
         committee, and there's a strong possibility the latter will
         make a recommendation" on the sale.  A "high-ranking" MLB
         official said the ownership committee "will have a long
         conversation about the Dodger sale ... and I don't expect it
         to fall through" (Mike Digiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 1/7).
              BEESTON'S BURDEN: MLB COO Paul Beeston is interviewed
         in BASEBALL AMERICA's "PowerBrokers" issue.  Beeston, asked
         to assess his new position: "Right now, and I'm not
         embarrassed to say it, it's a much bigger job than I thought
         it was going to be, and it's more of a complicated job than
         I thought it was going to be" (BASEBALL AMERICA, 1/19).     
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Colorado Rockies, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, News Corp./Fox
  • OVER 14 MILLION FEEL THE NFL'S POWER, UP CLOSE AND IN PERSON

              The NFL announced that paid attendance for the '97
         regular season was the second-highest total in NFL history. 
         Fans purchased 14,966,294 tickets to the NFL's 240 regular-
         season games in '97, representing paid attendance at 90%
         capacity.  This total was topped only by the 15,043,562 paid
         attendance record set in '95.  The league increased paid
         attendance 353,877 from last season.  The average regular-
         season attendance in '97 was 62,360, compared to 60,885 in
         '96, an increase of nearly 1,500 per game (NFL).  For final
         AFC regular-season attendance, see (#29).
              LABOR GAINS? On CNBC's "The Edge," Barbara Monaco 
         reported on the NFL's effort to extend its CBA with the
         NFLPA, and the impact that may have on its new TV deals:
         "The strategy for guaranteed labor peace is one that some
         analysts say could bring the NFL an extra $60 million
         increase in its TV contracts."  SportsCorp.'s Marc Ganis:
         "[They're talking about] not just doing a four-year [TV]
         deal, but also adding two three-year options, potentially
         making it a ten-year deal.  That raises the stakes for the
         networks to get in now."  Pilson Communications' Neal
         Pilson: "To project seven years out creates some
         extraordinary financial risks, and I don't know if the
         networks are prepared to do that" ("The Edge," 1/6).
    
                   TOP FIVE NFL REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCES
              
              YEAR           ATTENDANCE     GAMES     AVERAGE
              1995           15,043,562     240       62,682
              1997           14,966,294     240       62,360
              1996           14,612,417     240       60,885    
              1994           14,030,435     224       62,636
              1993           13,966,843     224       62,352
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL
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