SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

COME FLY WITH ME: NBA TEAMS UP TO PROVIDE CHARTERED FLIGHTS

          While ten NBA teams own their own planes, the NBA
     chartered five customized, 56-seat 727s from Northwest
     Airlines for "the exclusive use of seven basketball teams"
     and the NHL's Avalanche, according to Susan Carey of the
     WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The NBA teams sharing the five planes
     are the Pacers, Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, Spurs, Warriors
     and Nuggets.  Carey writes that the charter deal came about
     after General Electric, which owns NBC, leased some 727s to
     Northwest, and the airline "didn't want to extend the leases
     when they expired."  Some NBC sportscasters "began hearing
     about" NBA teams' transportation "woes," and GE's aircraft
     unit financed the refurbishing to the league's
     specifications.  The NBA leases the planes from GE, and has
     a seven-year agreement with Northwest to operate the planes. 
     Bill Wernecke, Charter Manager for Northwest, which also
     carries eight NFL teams, said that the NBA "expects other
     teams to sign up in coming seasons," as four other 727s are
     available to expand if needed (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/27).
     
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