SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              ABL CEO Gary Cavalli said he hopes the league's new
         franchise in Chicago will average 5,000 to 6,000 fans next
         season, according to Steve Tucker of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. 
         Cavalli made his remarks in Chicago after officially
         announcing the league's intention to place a franchise in
         the market.  The team will play at the Univ. of Illinois-
         Chicago Pavilion, which seats 7,800.  The league will also
         expand to Nashville next season as well (SUN-TIMES, 4/9). 
         Cavalli said the league hopes to add two additional teams in
         '99-2000 and said that the "early favorites" are New York,
         Dallas and St. Louis (Frank Litsky, N.Y. TIMES, 4/9).  USA
         TODAY's Valerie Lister writes that while Nashville isn't a
         big TV market, the league "hopes to capitalize" on the Univ.
         of TN's women's basketball fan base (USA TODAY, 4/9).
              THE JACKSON VIBE: Bulls coach Phil Jackson, on the
         ABL's latest entry: "It's not NBA-sponsored, so we can't
         root for it, I guess.  I understand the ABL's the best of
         the leagues, actually.  There have been a lot of people that
         talk talent that say the ABL has the strongest teams and
         personnel overall.  The WNBA obviously has the superstars,
         so to speak, the marketing people" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/9).

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, WNBA

              HOCKEY: In Philadelphia, Rich Hofman writes that no NHL
         teams "are sprinting toward the Stanley Cup playoffs," and
         blames the Olympics for the quality of play: "Our heroes
         have returned from the great worldwide stage, for the most
         part, with neither medals nor legs.  They have rejoined
         their teams ... and most of them have pretty much just
         limped along."  He adds, "If there has been one microscopic
         particle of benefit from these Olympics for the NHL's paying
         customers, well, you really do need a microscope to see it"
         (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/9)....The Canadian Hockey
         League, a 51-team junior-hockey league, set a single season
         attendance record of 5,712,284, up over 290,000 from last
         year.  Western Hockey League (WHL) clubs led the way with
         2,605,284 fans at 648 regular season dates, an average of
         9,174 (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/8). The WHL drew a record playoff
         crowd of nearly 13,000 for its semi-finals at the Canadian
         Airlines Saddledome last night (CALGARY SUN, 4/9).
              OTHER LEAGUES: MLS Commissioner Doug Logan confirmed
         yesterday that the price for a league franchise has risen
         $15M since its inception in '96.  He added that the league
         was close to a deal granting MLS Founder Alan Rothenberg
         operating rights to the Clash for $20M. Three years ago,
         franchises were awarded for $5M.  Logan said MLS investors
         "agreed not to accept any offers for less" than the $20M
         that was paid by Ken Horowitz for the expansion Fusion last
         year (N.Y. TIMES, 4/9)....In S.F., Ira Miller questions NFL
         owners about Eddie DeBartolo possibly reclaiming ownership
         of the 49ers and writes, "[S]everal NFL owners -- while
         stressing they do not have all the details of DeBartolo's
         legal problems in Louisiana -- said they would be concerned
         about an NFL club owner who was also involved in casino
         gambling." Bills Owner Ralph Wilson: "The further away we
         can stay from gambling, the better.  There is going to be a
         very big (gambling) blowup someday, and that could really
         hurt professional sports" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/9)....PGA Tour
         Commissioner Tim Finchem, on whether other Tour pros have
         inquired about using a cart after the Casey Martin trial:
         "[They] have inquired, but haven't requested" (ESPN, 4/8).
         ...The Ladies Pro Baseball league awarded a franchise to
         Homestead, FL, joining sites in Long Beach, Scottsdale, San
         Jose, Buffalo and Augusta, NJ (MIAMI HERALD, 4/9).

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLS, NFL, NHL, PGA Tour, San Francisco 49ers, Walt Disney, Wilson Sporting Goods

              MLB has new office space in New York and signed a lease
         with World Financial Properties to occupy 104,000 square
         feet at 245 Park Avenue, according to Nick Ravo of the N.Y.
         TIMES.  The 14-year lease, which "brings the commissioner's
         office and four other offices to the building between 46th
         and 47th Streets," began April 1.  MLB, which will lease
         three floors in the building, had been at 350 Park Avenue. 
         Terms of the lease were not disclosed (N.Y. TIMES, 4/9).
              IN A PINCH? BASEBALL WEEKLY features a special report
         on MLB's "tobacco war."  A survey shows that 59% of MLB
         players who volunteered to be tested at spring training had
         tobacco-related mouth lesions (BASEBALL WEEKLY, 4/8 issue).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB

              The NHL announced a restructuring and expansion of
         their PR and communications functions, and created a new
         management position.  Frank Brown, a N.Y. Daily news
         reporter/columnist since '80, has joined the league in its
         new position as VP/Media Relations, effective April 13.  He
         will be responsible for the NHL's day-to-day communications
         and serves as a league spokesperson on game-related matters. 
         NHL VP/PR Arthur Pincus will oversee league communications
         with int'l media, and serve as a main contact for national
         sports publications and electronic media outlets.  Gary
         Meagher, Managing Dir of PR, will continue to be responsible
         for media relations in Canada and will act as the primary
         liaison with the PR operations for each NHL club.  The
         league's media relations, PR, corporate communications and
         creative service functions will be consolidated into a
         single integrated communications department, under the
         direction of VP/Communications Bernadette Mansur (NHL).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL

              Pistons Player Rep Jerome Williams said that during the
         NBA's last lockout in '95, the players "didn't have a chance
         to set up the decertification process," according to Chris
         McCosky of the DETROIT NEWS.  But McCosky writes that NBPA
         Exec Dir Billy Hunter "already has met with 17 teams and 15
         of them have agreed to decertify if the owners lock them out
         this summer."  The Pistons have yet to vote.  Williams: "If
         they lock us out, we will already have a lawsuit in place to
         decertify.  Then everybody will be a free agent.  No union,
         no lockout, no draft, no salary cap" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/9). 

    Print | Tags: Detroit Pistons, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA
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